West One Loans achieves record short-term completions as lending passes £1bn in 2023

West One Loan's short-term lending divisions achieved record completions of more than £1bn in 2023.

The specialist lender’s bridging and development finance teams grew lending by more than 10% year-on-year overall in 2023, exceeding the targets they set themself at the start of last year.

Despite challenging market conditions, West One’s bridging team grew completions by 8% compared with 2022, while development finance grew completions by 44%.

Assets under management (AUM) also grew, with the development finance team reporting a 4% increase and the bridging team logging a 5% uplift.

The strength of West One’s short-term lending divisions helped parent company Enra Specialist Finance to achieve a record set of results for 2023.

Reporting its results last month, Watford-based Enra revealed it achieved record originations of more than £2bn last year, with AUM soaring more than 20% to £2.1bn.

Earlier this month, Enra also completed on its fourth ever securitisation, a £340m issue made up of buy-to-let and second charge loans. The proceeds will be used to fund new lending.

Tom Cantor, Head of Bridging at West One says: “While higher interest rates have caused a slowdown in the residential and buy-to-let markets, the bridging sector has proven itself to be extremely resilient. We’re very happy with how 2023 went, and we have proven that we can meet the needs of borrowers in all market conditions, no matter how challenging.

“Advisers appreciate our flexibility, expertise and our determination to get deals over the line, whether its developers looking to exit build projects, homeowners looking for funding to deliver major refurbishment projects or anything in between. That has held us in good stead over the past 12 months.

“We’re glad to say that we have carried that momentum into the New Year and therefore we expect another strong year in 2024.”

Guy Murray, Head of Development Finance at West One says: “While we only entered the development finance around five years ago, we’ve quickly developed a reputation as a lender that will go the extra mile to get deals over the line. These are challenging times for developers, but we have developed a product that provides them with certainty of finance from the very first to the last step in the process.

“With interest rates looking as though they may start to come down this year, we should see conditions begin to improve. That will provide us with plenty of opportunities to grow our share of the development finance market over the coming 12 months.

“We have a strong appetite to lend, and we have the product and the flexibility of criteria to lend to all developers, large or small. So, the message to brokers and their clients is: come talk to us.”

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