Specialist commercial and residential property lender Thinktank has experienced a 33 per cent increase in loans on a year-on-year basis allowing it to achieve the significant milestone of $1 billion of loan settlements in the 2020/21 financial year.
Thinktank chief executive Jonathan Street described the feat as an outstanding result given the prevailing market conditions and attributed the organisation’s success to its agility.
“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,” Street said.
Further, he recognised the role SMSFs played in the unmatched outcome amid the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s fair to say that 12 months ago as the grip of COVID was tightening and with borrower hardship support at elevated levels, none of us genuinely believed $1 billion was a likely prospect. And yet, while commercial lending activity initially fell by around 50 per cent, it was more than compensated by the pick-up in residential and SMSF lending,” he noted.
According to Street, Thinktank had benefited from the unexpected strong performance of residential property over the 12 months along with the consistency of other real estate sectors.
“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 noted.
However, he acknowledged the reintroduction of COVID-19-induced lockdowns in Australia’s major capital cities would result in more challenging times for the property market, but remained optimistic about its likely performance in the immediate term.
“Lender competition is particularly strong, which is great for borrowers and brokers, while interest rates are now likely to remain at their lows for longer. The impacts of COVID will abate in time and that is expected to unlock a sustained period of strength in employment, the economy and in property markets,” he predicted.