West One’s new sales director Nick Jones has confirmed that the lender has their sights set on surpassing the £1bn mark for short-term finance in 2021.
A total of £2.3bn sets of terms were issued in H1, which is up 29% on the same period last year. The overall increase in activity in the housing market, and demand from borrowers expanding and diversifying their portfolios, have been some of the key drivers of performance at West One. The lender has seen gross completions up 32% from H1 2020, to £485m for 2021 throughout its short-term bridging and development offering.
Nick Jones said: “It has certainly been a strong period of growth for the business and really sets the pace for the second half of the year, as we expect to build on this success. Clearly there is high demand in the market. But the level of customer service, quality of the product and quick turnaround time from the team at West One, has meant we’ve been able to maximise those opportunities.”
Turnaround time is a strong area for the lender with the average number of days for bridging loans to complete 25% quicker than the industry average of 40 days or over*.
To reach the £1bn lending goal, Nick plans to build up West One’s distribution throughout the UK while maintaining its levels of service and delivery.
Service is key, clear communication and strong decisioning from initial enquiry is equally as important as the speed of which a case is funded. Nick explains, “It starts with not wasting intermediaries’ time through speculative acceptances. It’s making sure, as we do, that when the application comes in, it’s understood, underwritten, and structured properly.”
The lender is planning to bolster the internal structure in order to support their field sales team and intermediary partners, such as Brightstar, alongside the adoption of a new processing system that will enhance West One’s underwriting capabilities.
Nick believes this will allow his team to get back to brokers even quicker with more concise decisions earlier on in the process.
Looking ahead, Nick predicts some serious challenges when government support schemes come to an end this autumn. However, he strongly believes that property is still very much a long-term investment in the UK and there will be opportunities for people looking to diversify their portfolios. The change to permitted development rights will make conversions easier, so we are expecting to see an increase in investors converting properties into HMOs or converting commercial property into residential units.
To find out more about bridging with West One, speak with the team of experts at Brightstar on 01277 508951, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*EY’s 2021 bridging survey revealed 54% believed average days to complete to be 40 days or over with only 13% believing it to be 35 days or less.
FOR INTERMEDIARIES ONLY