FMT grows investment book strongly to fund loans

While banks clamp down on lending and restrictions tighten for investors, one non-bank lender has more money to offer than ever.

Thursday, April 27th 2017, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Property finance and investment provider First Mortgage Trust has seen its investment book climb to more than $500 million.

It passed the milestone on Monday of this week. That is up from just under $350 million in the year ended March 31, 2016.

While FMT's investment book has grown strongly it has also seen an increasing demand for borrowing, especially as the banks tightened their criteria for property finance and there was less money available from non-bank lenders.

FMT loans manager Alan Hitchcock, said the firm was willing to look at a range of residential deals, and was most concerned about the quality of the property being purchased.

It would favour anything that was bought in the top half of the North Island, from Napier across to New Plymouth north. “That’s the golden triangle, the preferable area,” he said.

It could lend up to about 65% LVR and would offer rates on a case-by-case basis around 7.95%. Deals were normally done for one to three years, interest-only.

It also offers an equity release product.

Financial controller Roger Ford said the growth in investments was due to the rate of return it could offers its investors.

He said it was typically 2% higher than what was available in six-month term deposits from the banks, which is the rate FMT benchmarks against.

The rate of growth should continue until the official cash rate started to climb again, he said.

But he said the big increase in funds was not what had been expected. “A couple of years ago there was talk of interest rates going up then it flicked to the OCR reducing. I don’t think anyone saw such a long period where interest rates were so low.”

 

Tags: First Mortgage Trust

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