Of the total, buy-to-let business dominated new mortgage lending at £788m, and the percentage of complex buy-to-let completions – comprising customers operating through corporate structures or running large portfolios – jumped from 72% to 88% of first half lending.
Underlying profits in the mortgage segment grew by 17% to £85m and the net interest margin – which measures the difference between Paragon’s funding costs and what it earns from lending – improved from 1.55% in the first half last year to 1.69%.
By the end of the period, Paragon’s mortgage loan book had increased by seven per cent to £10.8bn.
Alongside mortgage lending, Paragon delivered an 89% year-on-year increase in its commercial lending portfolio to £1.3bn. It said this ‘demonstrated good progress in its strategic transformation to a more broadly-based banking group focussed on supporting British SMEs and consumers in specialist lending markets.’
The increase in lending was funded principally through an increase in the group’s savings deposits which grew 37% to £5.9bn.
John Heron, managing director of mortgages at Paragon (pictured) said: “Complexity around the private rented sector resulting from fiscal changes and increased regulation has resulted in a shift in balance with professional landlords providing a greater proportion of the supply of rented homes.
“Paragon’s experience of lending in this segment over the last 20 years has helped to consolidate a leading market position and grow market share where others have seen their positions eroded.
“Private landlords are vital to the UK’s housing provision and we continue to develop our product and service capability to support them in developing their business.”
Paragon lends to private individuals and limited companies and offers financing for single, self-contained properties, as well as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and multi-unit blocks.
The lender can accommodate higher aggregate lending limits and more complex letting arrangements including local authority leases and corporate leases along with standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements.