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Introducing Neal Moy


Neal Moy recently joined Paragon Development Finance as Deputy Managing Director. We talk to him about what attracted him to the business, the focus of his new role and what’s impacting SME housebuilders currently.

Neal Moy began his role as Deputy Managing Director of Paragon Development Finance at the beginning of October. We caught up with him to discuss his new role and what he will bring to the organisation.

Neal, how have your first few weeks been?

It’s been great and exactly what I expected. I’ve spent time meeting the team and understanding exactly how we operate. I’ve also managed to get out and meet clients, which I hope to be doing more of.

What attracted you to join Paragon Development Finance?

The strength of the team, the company’s excellent reputation in the market for delivery and the future vision for the business outlined by Managing Director Robert Orr. I had seen the great strides made by Paragon after the acquisition of Titlestone in 2018 during my time heading RateSetter’s development finance business and now it is one of the main players in the sector. It has the type of professional, focused culture that I enjoy and felt like a natural fit.

What do you think sets the company apart from peers?

A key advantage Paragon enjoys is being part of the broader Paragon Banking Group, which is a successful, well-capitalised, long-established specialist financial services company. That gives us the financial platform to support our clients and the confidence that we can remain committed to the market. You saw that through the pandemic when Paragon increased its lending in the development finance space at a time when others were withdrawing.

Of course, the experience of the team is also important and being able to deliver on what we say we’ll deliver.

What will your role focus on?

The team has grown significantly in recent years and Robert felt that the Development Finance division would benefit from bolstering the senior management team. I have known Robert and others from Paragon well from my time at RateSetter.

In terms of the focus of my role, it will be helping the Relationship Director team to deliver more of the same, as well as looking at new opportunities such as expanding the product range. As I said, we’ve made great strides as a business over the past three years and we have a fantastic platform on which to deliver further growth.

What are your views on the market currently?

It’s an interesting time for the sector as we emerge from the pandemic. The trends that started during 2020, such as the demand for larger homes in green spaces, are here for the long term and that creates plenty of opportunities for developers. I can see more housebuilders targeting schemes in outer suburban or semi-rural areas going forward.

Counter to that, city centre living has rebounded as hospitality, entertainment and offices have opened up, but perhaps buyers and renters will want a bit more space in apartments going forward, with defined work/living spaces. That creates challenges for developers but also great opportunities.

Additionally, the purpose built student accommodation and build to rent markets are growing strongly and they present opportunities for the sector.

Generally, the supply of new houses remains restricted with the planning regime unlikely to change significantly for many years. As such, there continues to be an under supply of new houses being built versus the demand and this acts as an inherent protection for us as lenders provided that we support the right developers with the relevant experience to build out the consented schemes.

What are the key challenges facing SME developers?

Obviously, materials shortages have been impacting the sector for a while and will continue to do so, as well as skills shortage. Our job as trusted advisers is to work with clients to help them overcome these challenges and factor in potential delays to materials into the delivery of a scheme. That’s where our experience and expertise come in.