Property is a big focus for Barclays – here’s how we can help your property clients build their investment portfolios and develop their businesses.
Real estate is proving to be an interesting sector for investors and developers, with new opportunities continuing to emerge across the UK.
It’s an area where we’re seeing opportunities for growth and we’re working hard to build long-term relationships to help businesses move forward.
“Real estate is a big focus for us. Our Business Development Managers across the country are aligning with our Real Estate Managers, and working with brokers and accountants to understand exactly what their clients require and find a way forward,” says Matt Weaver, Head of Business Banking, Real Estate.
“There’s a strong desire to lend to UK property professionals and to grow our real estate business,” he adds.
Opportunities for investors
Within the Business Banking real estate sector, Matt says that he’s seen plenty of traction around interest-only mortgage deals that have recently become available.
There’s also been a lot happening in the buy-to-let market, including some key developments for those classed as portfolio landlords. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) classes these as investors with 4 or more properties.
Regulations being phased in during 2017 by the Bank of England’s PRA include demands to use a specialist underwriting process when considering lending for this category of borrowers.
The regulations state that lenders should base this process proportionately on their knowledge of the borrower, their portfolio and alternative sources of income. (Read more about these changes in the latest article by property expert Nigel Lewis).
Matt says that having a close relationship with business introducers can really pay dividends for these clients.
“We can offer dedicated Real Estate Managers on the ground – there are more than 55 across the country who are all specialists,” he explains. “We also work very closely with our business intermediaries and accountants to understand their clients’ needs and the opportunities that are out there for them.”
Benefits of local expertise
Barclays is also a supporter of the UK residential development sector, growing relationships with regional housebuilders as well as smaller developers. Matt says he is continuing to see opportunities there too, especially with the desire to build more housing for a growing population across the UK.
“We have the industry expertise and a strong relationship approach to help support customers through the cycle,” says Matt. “Our Real Estate Managers work closely with their colleagues across the bank to make sure they leverage the appropriate expertise.”
And that expertise can be a crucial factor in a successful project. With the property market being so variable, Matt says that taking a broad brush approach is not always the best way to get results. Instead, a more focused understanding is often more beneficial in building bespoke and successful lending cases.
“All opportunities, irrespective of geography, are considered using local real estate knowledge,” says Matt. “We look to understand the factors affecting the local micro market, even down to an individual street level, which can have a big impact.”
For more information, talk to your Business Development Manager who can put you in touch with one of our Real Estate Managers. Their local knowledge and expertise will help your clients navigate through the process.