Calderpeel Altrincham The Downs October 2018
The Downs Quarter is around 60% complete

House Crowd’s Downs Quarter to be sold  

Dan Whelan

LPA receiver David Currie & Co has been appointed to sell the 40-home Altrincham development after the peer-to-peer lender brought in administrators last week due to “ongoing financial issues”.

The receiver is to sell the scheme, which is 60%-70% complete, to recover a charge for developer Consensus Property.

Altrincham-based The House Crowd, which offered bridging loans secured against land or property, bought the Downs Quarter development site from Consensus in 2019.

The £15m scheme, designed by Calderpeel Architects, comprises 31 apartments across three blocks, and eight townhouses.

David Currie & Co’s appointment follows that of business advisory firm Quantuma as administrator for The House Crowd and several other group companies.

On 25 February, Quantuma was also appointed over House Crowd Property Management, House Crowd Finance, and House Crowd Finance (Security Agent).

House Crowd Developments 23, the vehicle delivering the Downs Quarter project, is not itself in administration.

The House Crowd, founded in 2012 by Suhail Nawaz, has 3,700 active investors and has funded more than 400 developments worth a combined £123.9m, according to Quantuma.

Frank Ofonagoro, director at Quantuma, said: “Due to ongoing financial issues facing the company, the directors resolved that it would be in the best interests of The House Crowd and its creditors and its loan investors, to appoint administrators.”

The administration is not expected to have a material impact on investors and lenders, according to a statement by Quantuma.

The business advisory firm will carry out “the orderly wind-down of the loan portfolio and the return of monies to lenders”, it said.

Quantuma added that the impact the proceedings could have on The House Crowd’s 13 staff and the 15 developments the company is funding, including Fox Owl Rise – a 54 home scheme in Lees outside Oldham – is not yet clear.

Ofonagoro added: “Our priority will now be on securing the best possible outcome for all parties. Wherever possible, that includes the repatriation of client monies, completion of existing development builds, orderly wind-down of loan books, and ultimately protecting the interest of investors and creditors.”

Ofonagoro, Jeremy Woodside and Frank Wessely are the joint administrators.

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