Blend Network welcomes move to keep market open during further lockdown
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a third national lockdown, set to last until mid-February, Blend Network has voiced its support for both this move and the decision to keep the housing market open, unlike in March 2020.
Roxana Mohammadian-Molina (pictured), chief strategy officer at Blend Network, said: “We very much welcome the government’s move to introduce tighter restrictions in order to control the spread of the virus, but we also welcome the move to keep the housing market moving as the sector has strongly contributed to the UK’s economic recovery during the second half of last year and we see housing as a key to economic recovery during the post-Brexit and post-pandemic months.
“Research shows that for every 100,000 housing transactions in the UK, there is a net impact of close to £1bn in the economy.”
Mohammadian-Molina also noted the resilience of the market, and the fact that the lockdown comes amid one of the fastest rallies it has ever witnessed.
She said: “In the second half of 2020, UK houses priced increased by an average of 5% [year-on-year] every single month.
“According to the Nationwide house price data, the average UK house price increased by £15,000 during 2020.
“The strength in house prices has also been witnessed in demand for loans from property developers and investors looking to initiate property projects.”
This also applies specifically to Blend, Mohammadian-Molina added: “Despite an unprecedented pandemic, we at Blend Network doubled our volume of lending in 2020 compared to the previous year and have hired a number of lending associates to help accelerate our acquisition of new borrowers as well as enhance our capabilities to service both existing and new borrowers on the platform.
“Right now, as opposed to the first lockdown in March-April, we at Blend Network have seen a surge in loan requests from property developers and investors looking to build or refurbish.
“This has further been driven by many lenders pulling out of deals they had agreed to lend on, so those lenders like us that have remained open for business have seen a surge in loan requests.
“It has also been an opportunity for the government to see that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending must be part of the solution if we are serious about tackling the unprecedented housing crisis the UK faces.”