Paragon Mortgages Limited (PML), the buy-to-let lending arm of The Paragon Group, advanced over £330m worth of buy-to-let mortgages for the six months to 31 March 2003.
This was a rise of almost 38% on the £240m advanced in the same period last year. PML recorded pre-tax profits of £23.4m, up by 14% on the same period last year, while the cost to income ratio fell from 36.5% to 34.2%.
John Heron, managing director of PML, said: ‘Our results provide further evidence that the buy-to-let market remains busy and buoyant. With record levels of new mortgage applications, the quality of lending further improving and rental returns and values stabilising, we feel very positive about the future of this sector. Our new commercial buy-to-let products will allow us to expand our distribution and widen services.’
The commercial products will be available for most non-specialist properties including shops, offices, warehouses and light industrial buildings. Heron added: ‘We believe there is good potential to build commercial buy to let into an important secondary business stream to complement Paragon’s well established residential business.’
Heron said there was also a strong pipeline of business and the sluggishness in the owner occupied market was offering better value properties to landlords.