Paragon Bank, the specialist lender, has revealed that its full-year results show specialist buy-to-let lending accounted for 93% of all BTL activity. This is a significant increase compared to last year when it was at 89%. £1.119 billion of a total of £1.205 billion BTL lending was classed as specialist.
There was an overall reduction in BTL lending of 18.6% compared to 2019, as a result of lockdown restrictions to the market. Specialist BTL lending activity fell by 14.9% against the 2019 figures, but non-specialist lending had a much greater reduction, falling by 47.8%.
Paragon have noted that the business pipeline has now grown to pre-pandemic levels, with a figure of £868m at the year-end.
Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank’s Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “2020 has been the most extraordinary year, but it’s one which has demonstrated Paragon’s resilience, our commitment to the market and the strength of our people and processes.
“Within four days of lockdown, over 90% of our workforce was working from home and we remained open and lending throughout the pandemic.
“Overall lending reduced naturally as a consequence of the lockdown and the restrictions imposed on the housing market, but demand bounced back strongly post May and our pipeline at the end of October was nearly 15% ahead of March 2020.”
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This new follows figures revealed in June, when Paragon announced it had grown its specialist buy-to-let mortgages business by 1.5% over the first half of its financial year.