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Brokers drive Semper uplift in commercial transactions

by Malavika Santhebennur5 minute read
Brokers drive Semper uplift in commercial transactions

The non-bank lender has reported a 42 per cent rise in commercial transactions above $2 million in the last quarter, which it said was fully steered by the broker channel.

Semper has also attributed the spike to its consistent rate, unrestricted access to capital, the extension of its loan terms, and a rise in brokers actively focusing on increasing commercial offerings.

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Semper founder and director Andrew Way said the lender’s joint venture with Costa Asset Management has provided it with a strong warehousing facility.

“There’s also been a substantial increase in interest from investors seeking property-secured yields in a low-income market,” Mr Way said.

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“But the stability of our non-bank warehouse facility has enabled us to maintain products, pricing and LVR exposures, which seem popular in these uncertain times. We are confident we will continue to write sizeable transactions without concerns of capital shortfalls.”

Semper has reported that deal flows throughout the previous quarter were dominated by complex cross-collateralised property transactions, with property developers and investment opportunists seeking finance to complete, in both metro and semi-rural locations.

Commenting on the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Way said the rise in transactions has illustrated that disruption can boost growth.

“We are of course sensitive to the broader aspects of COVID-19, but we strongly urge brokers to not assume that pandemic has had a universally negative effect on businesses,” he said.

“We are experiencing the contrary in our niche of the market as we’re consistently lending to ‘opportunity takers’. Similarly, none of our loans have been COVID-affected.”

Mr Way added that there is a pattern of complex transactions, while borrowers are seeking longer loan terms, often with an initial period of interest-servicing relief.

“We’re also writing more blends than standalone first or second mortgages,” he said.

“Consequently, our average loan term is moving from seven or eight months to 12 to 18, and this may be a direct reflection of our rates of interest coming down.”

Fuzion Capital commercial broking specialist Nick Harper agreed, stating that the current period is offering opportunity to write transactions that could support business growth and restructuring.

“In particular, it seems some are looking to leverage opportunities to renegotiate with partners that may have a less robust nature in uncertain times,” Mr Harper said.

“So, we’re seeing an uplift in property-secured loans to buy out partners, or to buy other businesses outright. Another area of demand is for residual stock loans for completed developments where the bank wants out but the developer needs a longer time to secure sales.”

Commenting on the opportunities for brokers, Mr Way concluded: “We encourage the broader broking community to upskill to commercial lending, or to collaborate with specialists in the area, to expand the markets they serve while the residential market is quiet.”

[Related: US fintech to acquire OnDeck]

Brokers drive Semper uplift in commercial transactions
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

AUTHOR

Malavika Santhebennur is a content specialist at Momentum Media, focusing on mortgages and finance writing.

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