In the wake of the Titlestone acquisition, Paragon’s latest half-year results show that development finance new lending increased fourfold by £126m to £161m, compared with the same period last year.
The financial performance is clearly impressive, but what else has the Titlestone acquisition achieved?
Our three main priorities have been to assemble the right team, build a best-in-class delivery platform and ensure we have a competitive product range. I am really pleased we have achieved this and that the business is in an excellent position.
What are the main differences clients have noticed following the integration of the two businesses?
Previous Titlestone clients will experience the same efficient processes which allowed us to successfully execute more than 300 transactions. With the additional backing of Paragon — a quoted bank with a £12bn loan book – we’re now able to offer more competitive rates from 55% of GDV, right up to the stretched senior product at 70% for development funding.
We have also expanded to cover the whole of England and Wales, helped by dedicated relationship directors in the Midlands and the North.
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And for the Paragon clients?
With the experience of the lending team enhanced, we have been able to increase the maximum facility size to £35m and offer funding of up to 70% of GDV for the right deal. Pre-planning support and purpose-built student developments now also form part of a wider product range.
Are you planning to launch any new products?
We now have a product range where we can support developers throughout the majority of a transaction’s lifecycle. However, we are always looking for opportunities to help our developer clients more and I expect we will continue to enhance our product range.
You mentioned delivery, what have you done to enhance that important area?
First, we expanded the team, recruiting additional portfolio managers, ensuring each relationship director now has dedicated support.
We’ve also streamlined the operating processes so we can turn around monthly drawdowns on a same-day basis. We also deal with credit approvals and due diligence for new projects extremely quickly.
How are you coping with uncertainty in the housing market?
Our focus continues to be on supporting developers with apartments priced up to £600,000 and houses priced up to £1.5m. That core market product is one which we like and remain confident in.
By backing experienced developers producing well-designed, sensibly priced products and in decent locations across England and Wales, we are well protected from the current political uncertainty.