Paragon increases buy-to-let lending by 82%

The Paragon group has announced profits of £82.8m, with buy-to-let lending increasing by 82% in the 12 months to 30 September 2006.

New loans rose from £1.7bn in 2005 and for the first time exceeded £3bn.

Total buy-to-let mortgage balances outstanding grew to £7bn, an increase of 43% on last year’s figure of £5bn.

John Heron, Paragon’s group director of mortgages, says: “Both our brands are firing on all cylinders, with excellent business volumes generated via our intermediary partners.

“We maintain active relationships with some 4,000 intermediaries, from the major national networks to the small-scale broker with just one office.

“With their help, we have been able to grow our book of buy-to-let mortgages to record levels, reaching over 73,000 loans up from 59,000 a year ago.”

“We have achieved these impressive results in a buy-to-let lending market that has also performed well.

“According to The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ figures, gross buy-to-let advances rose 20% by value between the second half of 2005 and the first half of 2006.”

“Future prospects for buy-to-let remain buoyant, with record levels of tenant demand and rental growth reported by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which will underpin the sector going forward.

“In the longer term, tenant demand for privately rented property is expected to continue to grow on the back of social, demographic and economic factors, which will generate further growth in buy-to-let mortgage lending.

“With Paragon’s position as the only specialist in the buy-to-let mortgage market, we are well placed to benefit from this growth in the future.

“With strong business flows recently, we’ve got off to a sound start to the current financial year.”

“This is good news for Paragon – and good news for all our intermediary partners.”