Venn Partners sets up Dutch residential mortgage platform

London-based real estate specialist Venn is taking the plunge into directly providing residential mortgages in the Netherlands. It will finance the new platform through a mix of third-party capital, securitisation and direct investment.

Real estate debt manager Venn Partners has launched a new Dutch-focused mortgage lender and is seeking to lend €2 billion to residential buyers by 2018.

Launched today (21 March), Venn Hypotheken will raise the money through a combination of residential mortgage-backed securities, funds and direct investment.

Gary McKenzie-Smith, managing partner at Venn Partners, told PDI that it has set itself the target of lending between €750 million – €1 billion by the end of this year and €1.5 billion in 2017.

McKenzie-Smith said that the target was “ambitious” for a new entity, but said he is confident of reaching the €2 billion annual sum, which he added was in line with other successful Dutch mortgage lenders. 

“The Dutch mortgage market is growing year and year and there is a return of consumer confidence in the market,” he said.

Venn Hypotheken is based in Breda, in the south of the country, and Marc de Moor will lead the new mortgage lending platform. He has more than three decades worth of experience in the residential mortgage market. Before joining Venn Partners, he worked at Argenta, where he helped to build up a €15 billion residential mortgage portfolio. 

In a statement released today announcing the launch of Venn Hypotheken, the firm said that the low risk profile of the Dutch mortgage market makes it an attractive alternative to investing in government bonds or other traditional asset classes.

Furthermore, the real estate manager believes there is more space in the market for mortgage lending for private lenders as the number of banks active in the market drops. Banks’ share of the Dutch residential mortgage market stands at 70 percent, but Venn Hypotheken said that is expected to drop to 50 percent in the coming years.

“It is the second biggest mortgage market in Europe, has recovered well with the revival of house price growth and has characteristics, such as a strong intermediary network and a limited pool of domestic mortgage lenders, which makes it very attractive for a non-bank lender such as Venn Partners to expand its operations and build a sustainable business,” said Marc de Moor, managing director of Venn Hypotheken.

Venn is not the only non-bank lender to launch a Dutch residential mortgage platform. Dutch asset manager Dynamic Credit launched a new platform offering institutional investors direct access to the residential mortgage market in the Netherlands. Borrowers can apply directly for a mortgage via the online platform, called bijBouwe, PDI reported in December

Alternative investment firm Venn Partners focuses on asset-backed lending businesses in Europe, in particular, commercial real estate finance and residential mortgage finance.