Signature is performing well, which given the challenging economic environment and now second national lockdown, is satisfying to report. Other alternative lenders have not fared so well and will undoubtedly struggle in this phase of the pandemic response.
The first lockdown played havoc with the sector as buying and selling property was halted, along with construction projects. This lockdown will have less of an impact thanks to the commitment from the government to keep the property sector open for business.
Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government is allowing the UK housing market to continue operating, having tweeted after the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on 31 October:
“Housing market update: Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes; But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”
Open for business throughout. Again.
In the Spring, we quickly recognised it was not the time to close and once again it is our ambition to keep working and lending to support our clients’ desires to build portfolios out of opportunity afforded by the surprisingly buoyant market.
It is this commitment to supporting our clients and ensuring we followed through on deals in the lockdown, on the same terms agreed at the outset. Because we are not reliant on loan redemptions to deliver new funding, there are no nasty surprises to cover our own shortcomings.
This approach is bringing a lot of business to our door and driving interest in the Signature way of doing things, which is why we needed to recruit new, experienced relationship managers to take our offering to new audiences.
New appointments with experience. Again.
In September Bob Stones joined as a Relationship Manager to help our business expand its reach into Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the North East.
It’s an area he knows well, having spent 27 years there as a Real Estate Finance Manager for NatWest, with extensive experience working with house builders, commercial developers, residential and commercial property investors and individual buy-to-let landlords.
Bob will work closely with brokers and intermediaries to tailor bridging loans and development finance to suit clients’ individual needs. He’s happy to make site visits anywhere up the east coast, from the Wash to the Tyne, to get a true understanding of a client’s ambition.
Then in October, we appointed Paul Tromans, who will handle the Relationship Manager role for the Midlands and National Development Manager role to progress small-scale housebuilding projects across the country, supporting other Relationship Managers when needed.
Paul enjoyed a long career with management positions in UK Banking and is one of the most respected figures in the property finance sector, with more than 30 years’ lending experience, which is just what we need, given the growing interest in our products.
Paul is our first National Development Manager and his appointment demonstrates the growing need within the market for alternative lenders to fund small-scale developments from local housebuilders to fill the gap in the supply of new homes.
Lending up as market recovers. Again.
We have worked hard to shorten the process from enquiry to drawdown and ensure each deal passes through as few hands as possible, to give quick decisions, keep deals on track and ensure clients have a single point of contact to instil them with confidence.
Satisfyingly, it’s an approach that is delivering exceptional results for Signature as we continue to exceed targets set before the Spring lockdown. Lending in the three months August to October 2020, is 227% higher than the same period last year, with the number of deals doubling.
The average size of our loans increased, by more than 60% too, which not only highlights the strength of the market, but highlights the wisdom of Signature’s team continuing to work through the last lockdown and the reason we will continue to do deals in November.
In addition to Paul and Bob, we now have a presence across the entire mainland, with Relationship Managers Andy Neocleous in the South and Michelle Walsh in the South West, all overseen by CEO Tony Gilbertson, who also looks after Wales and the North West.
This team is more than ably supported by our dedicated Lending Managers, Chris Buttle in Cardiff, Trevor Melly in Birmingham and Alan Coats in Edinburgh. Quite a team when you add in the experienced support of Nazia and Nazmin, so please get in touch and see if we can get a Signature on your next deal.