At the start of the year Masthaven launched a hybrid second charge loan, mixing elements of bridging and secured lending. What was the thinking behind this and what can we expect from Masthaven over the next year?
Simple…innovation and fulfilling the needs of our broker partners are our main priorities. We are constantly looking at areas of the market where we can make a positive difference and ultimately help more borrowers. We have recently released a first charge “micro mortgage” range that will help hundreds of borrowers release tied up equity in their homes, when other lenders may not be able to help.
Second charge lending is experiencing something of a boom of late. Why do you think this is and will it continue?
Agreed, the second charge lending market is growing, but let’s not get carried away. The market is still only a tenth of the size it was prior to the credit crunch. However, there are really valid reasons why, in some cases, that a second charge loan is “best advice” for a borrower. For example, if a borrower has a first charge on a very low interest rate and that rate would increase if the borrower were to increase their debt with a first charge lender, or there may be some adverse credit history in the background and because of these reasons and others, the market will continue to grow.
Is the bridging market too saturated at the moment or is there still room for the sector to grow?
Some lenders will come and go, that has always been the case in any lending arena, be it bridging, standard residential, seconds etc. Lenders like Masthaven are in it for the long term and, as such, show real commitment to the market and the players in it, including brokers, other lenders and the industry in general. The market will continue to evolve in similar fashion over the next couple of years at least.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve said this many times before. “You have two ears and one mouth…use in that proportion.”
What are your hobbies away from work?
Many people in the industry know I am a qualified chef, chef lecturer and former restaurateur. I am still obsessed by all things food and cooking. I am also a very bad musician.
What was the last book you read?
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
Who is your all-time hero?
Apart from Andrew Bloom, the chief executive of Masthaven (had to get that in, sorry), there are so many people past and present that I respect and admire. Some are in the public eye and some are not. If I were to narrow it down to one person I would choose Cesar Ritz for his incredible vision in hospitality and for overseeing the first ever en-suite bathrooms in a hotel (The Savoy) anywhere in the world.