London-based principal development and bridging lender Avamore Capital has reported a record year of growth and is predicting another year of unprecedented completions in 2021.
Driving a large proportion of its growth is a sharp rise in demand for its Finish and Exit product, designed for part-completed development projects, where it has seen a 62 per cent year-on-year rise in completions. Similarly, compared to 2019, it saw 2020 enquiry volumes increase by c.£1.2bn year-on-year, reaching £5.1bn.
The business that specialises in SME developer funding this month surpassed the £300M in loans mark. It has expanded its team by a further five individuals in the past 12 months and has another four members joining across 2021, taking its team to 26.
The lender predicts another year of growth after implementing further product developments, which respond to current market needs. The recent announcement of its Planning Flexibility feature makes the most of relaxed planning rules and provides borrowers with a solution to cut through the bureaucracy of local government.
Philip Gould, Principal at Avamore Capital, said:
“Avamore’s achievements this year have been phenomenal especially given the disruption within the developer market and such high levels of uncertainty.
“Success has been bolstered by our capabilities to work closely with borrowing and broking partners and to remain responsive and dynamic to accommodate ever changing requirements. Our specialist products have certainly helped developers to navigate the past few months.
“Borrowers and brokers are looking for certainty and security, which can be reflected in the stability of a lender’s credit performance and operations.
“Demand for our Finish & Exit product has also been exceptional. We were the first ever lender to introduce this type of solution, which provides developers with funds to complete their scheme if they have faced cost overruns or unexpected delays during the build. This has become increasingly prevalent throughout the pandemic; workforces have been reduced to adhere to social distancing measure and PPE requirements have driven costs up over the past year. The Finish & Exit has therefore provided an answer to real time challenges.”
Philip added: “Reaching the £300M milestone loan figure follows our recent announcement of £150M worth of loan repayments in full, and we’ve experienced no losses to date. Of the loans which have been redeemed, Avamore has seen repeat business from a number of borrowers and brokers. In 2020, we closed £13M worth of deals with the same borrower, these are now split between redeemed and live loans with further transactions in the pipeline.
“Given the growth in the team, we certainly have the infrastructure in place across all departments to service loans to a continually high standard. Growth in the sales, credit analysis and underwriting departments means that the team will be able to work with more of the market whilst maintaining its market leading due diligence levels.
“Earlier this year we were also delighted to promote Toran Selim to Head of Asset Management and there are four additional hires expected to start by June 2021.
“In 2021, we hope to achieve even more by listening to what the market needs, delivering high quality products and services and, consolidating relationships even further so that we can grow with our partners.”