Specialist commercial and residential property lender Thinktank has reported that it has reached the milestone of settling more than $1 billion in loans for the first time in a financial year.
The milestone, achieved over FY21 (ending 30 June 2021), represents a 33 per cent increase on loans written in the previous year.
Thinktank CEO Jonathan Street said the lender’s moves to progressively diversify over 15 years from its initial focus on commercial property finance into self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) and broader residential lending focusing on self-employed and small-to-medium enterprise (SME) borrowers have yielded positive results, particularly in the past financial year.
“Considering the ever-present factor over the past 12 months has been the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it continues to intermittently have on economic, business and social activity, this is an outstanding result,” he said.
“It speaks to the continually evolving nature of Thinktank as a business and our genuine focus on building trusted and enduring relationships across all of our broker, aggregator and institutional stakeholders and partners.”
“We have continued to consistently grow our originations as a result and our distribution relationships continue to expand, both in terms of size and effect.”
Mr Street also noted that while commercial lending activity initially plummeted by around 50 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and borrower hardship support increased, it was compensated by a lift in residential and SMSF lending.
“It is also fair to say that the performance of the residential market, especially when reflecting back on commentary at the time, has surprised just about everyone. While the commercial property market generally has recovered well in the time since, individual market segments such as industrial have remained solid throughout and significantly exceeded expectations on the upside,” he said.
“Although the re-introduction of widespread lockdowns does produce renewed challenges for borrowers, businesses, lenders and property markets, we remain confident about the outlook for period ahead and anticipate another record year.”
However, Mr Street said the impacts of COVID-19 would subside in time, which is expected to spur a sustained period of strength in employment, the economy and the property market.
Lender competition has remained strong, which is positive for brokers and borrowers, while interest rates are likely to remain at their lows for longer, he added.
Thinktank closed its sixth commercial mortgage-backed securitisation (CMBS) worth $600 million last year, representing its largest CMBS transaction to date.
[Related: Thinktank closes $600m CMBS]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.