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Paragon steps up with new buy-to-let lending promise

These will be the first new buy-to-let mortgages that Paragon has offered since February 2008 when it withdrew from the market due to conditions in the global financial markets.

Macquarie Bank is providing the £200 million warehouse facility. The Group’s intention will be to use the facility to warehouse loans prior to arranging term funding in the mortgage-backed securitisation markets, where the Group has considerable experience stretching back over 20 years. There has been increasing evidence of a recovery in the asset-backed market with numerous securitisations being launched by a number of major UK and European banks.

Paragon has held bond investor roadshows during 2010 and there is strong investor demand for Paragon residential mortgage-backed securities given the excellent performance of its historical mortgage assets. The number of accounts more than three months in arrears across Paragon’s portfolio of buy-to-let loan assets has continued to fall and is currently 0.86% of the book. This is significantly below buy-to-let market peers and also the wider mortgage market.

Nigel Terrington, Paragon Group’s Chief Executive says:

“Despite the difficult environment over the past three years, Paragon has remained steadfast in its commitment to return the business to new lending when conditions permitted.

“We are delighted to have secured funding on acceptable and sustainable terms to enable us to return to new lending and to work with Macquarie on this significant transaction. They are an ambitious and innovative institution and this transaction demonstrates clear evidence of their intentions to develop a leading role in the UK debt and equity markets.

“This is not only a significant development for Paragon; it is also significant for the wholesale funding and specialist lending markets. Paragon is the first independent non-deposit taking mortgage lender to secure funding to enable it to return to new lending. This shows that investor confidence is returning and the wholesale funding markets are recovering.

“Competition in the mortgage market has been sorely lacking, particularly as specialist lenders have largely been unable to secure funding or Government support to enable them to compete against high street lenders. Nowhere is this more evident than in the private rented sector where tenant demand is strong and expected to grow. This is an increasingly important part of the UK housing market and competition is vital for a healthy and vibrant buy-to-let market and we aim to provide that competition.”

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