Neal Moy, managing director for development finance at Paragon

Paragon new business pipeline projects grow 21%

The new business element of Paragon Banking Group’s pipeline grew by 21% in the second half of 2023, reflecting a recovery in demand.

This is one part of the pipeline, with the rest made up of undrawn balances on projects already in progress.

Since the group’s year end, undrawn balances on development projects in progress has also increased - by 19.2% to £481.5m.

Paragon anticipates a “significant amount” of these balances to be drawn in the second half of the financial year.

Overall, this meant total value of Paragon’s pipeline increased by 3.9%.

In terms of new lending activity, Paragon lent £243.8m over this six month period with the geographical spread of these loans diversifying. For instance the proportion of Paragon’s portfolio in London and the south east has fallen from 54% in 2023 to 49%.

However, this total sum was down from the £273.1m lent in the first six months of 2023.

According to the group’s results, this was due to impacts of economic and political uncertainty in the UK with developers being more cautious as a result.

Commercial lending volumes were slightly higher over this period than 2023 with £589.9m lent, accounting for 48% of new lending across the group.

Over this period Paragon also increased funding available for Green Homes Initiatives from £200m to £300m.

“Coming out of a challenging 2023 for the market, we are seeing an increase in quality proposals from developers, leading to an expansion of our new business pipeline,” said Neal Moy, development finance managing director for Paragon (pictured above).

“Developer confidence is improving as economic volatility dissipates and some of the supply chain and labour issues that marked the post-pandemic world ease.”

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