News from Hodge Bank
Strong growth at Hodge Bank
Hodge Bank has reported an increase in real estate lending in 2015 – with the 2016 pipeline showing signs of continued buoyancy.
The commercial lending team provided over £110m into new deals – double the figure for 2014 – as the bank saw strong levels of investor and developer real estate activity across most geographical areas.
Schemes included £11m for a permitted development rights (PDR) property conversion in central Birmingham, as part of the bank's increased focus on the Midlands market, as well as an £18m lend on a residential development in London.
In addition it has funded a number of student accommodation and mixed-use projects in London, Wales and the South West.
Around £30m specifically went into financing projects in Wales. These included Nextcolour's development in Swansea, where the former Mumbles cinema and amusement arcade is being converted into retail outlets.
Kevin Beevers (pictured) commercial lending director at Hodge Bank, said: "Among property investors and developers, real estate is viewed as a sound investment and we are seeing some exciting schemes coming forward.
"I'm very pleased that our commercial lending team continues to grow its business, improve its profitability and enhance its reputation through the financing of attractive investment assets and well-conceived development schemes with experienced and professional equity sponsors.
"This is making a strong contribution to the bank's profitability, as well as delivering a significant flow of work to the Cardiff professional services market," said Mr Beevers.
Sectors which appear to be most active include student accommodation, hotels, new office development and the conversion of older property for residential or retail use.
The markets in Bristol and Bath specifically and the South West generally have been particularly busy over the last 12 months, where support has been provided for several residential and student schemes, mixed-use investment properties in Devon and Cornwall, and wind turbine finance across the broader South West.
Mr Beevers said that the bank will continue to be selective in choosing which projects and people to back.
"We are a funding partner for the proven and experienced investor/developer who values specialist, high-quality service combined with the approach and cachet of a private bank.
"In the last 30 years, Hodge Bank has worked diligently to become a respected brand and trusted partner in the real estate world, funded entirely through retail deposits, which last year surpassed £800m.
"As real estate specialists, we aim to provide a private-bank style service with highly-experienced managers and communication channels designed to produce a professional and timely response.
"We feel we have the expertise and resources essential for success. We can lend up to £25m to an individual client across a range of real estate and renewable energy asset classes and we are looking forward to 2016 and beyond," added Mr Beevers.
The bank will be relocating its head office from Windsor Place to One Central Square, a new office block in central Cardiff, during the summer. It has leased the entire sixth floor, comprising 16,500 sq. ft., which will allow it to expand its activities across its various businesses.