Paragon Bank’s buy-to-let pipeline hit a record high of nearly £1bn at the end of the first quarter of its financial year, the bank has announced in a trading update.
The update, which covers the period 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020, shows that the pipeline stood at £966.8m at the end of 2020.
That’s some £152.8m higher than for the same period last year. Paragon said it expects the pipeline to convert at a faster rate over the coming quarter as landlord customers look to complete ahead of the 31 March stamp duty deadline.
Richard Rowntree (pictured), Paragon Bank managing director of mortgages, said: “New business has been strong since the housing market reopened in May last year and accelerated in the three months to the end of December as landlords looked to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday. Our focus over the next two months will be on working hard to complete those transactions ahead of the window.”
Specialist buy-to-let completions remained robust during the first quarter of the financial year, reaching £298.7m. Although this represents a £110.8m reduction when compared to Q1 2020, it largely reflects the lagged impacts of the first lockdown on the pipeline and market-wide challenges facing the execution of housing transactions.
Paragon’s net loan book grew 2.4% to £12.67bn during the period. Total advances during the period stood at £521.8m – £304.1m mortgage advances and £217.7m commercial advances.