Housebuilder goes greener with funding support from Lloyds Bank
Norfolk-based independent housebuilder Abel Homes is seeing a renewed surge in demand for its properties following the support of a £3m green funding package from Lloyds Bank.
Located in Watton, family-owned Abel Homes has been building new-build properties across the county for more than 30 years. The seven-figure residential development loan from Lloyds Bank was made via its Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which provides discounted funding to help businesses transition to a lower carbon, more sustainable future. It means Abel Homes, already the only medium-sized Norfolk developer building to A-rating Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standard, can build even more energy-efficient properties.
Following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Abel Homes has already benefited from the East Anglian housing market returning to rude health. One of its developments, a site of 93 homes on the outskirts of Norwich which is due to launch in October 2020, has received more than 800 enquiries since the land was acquired, and, overall, enquiries for the firm’s properties are currently up by around a third compared with pre-lockdown times.
Paul LeGrice, managing director at Abel Homes, believes greater working flexibility is drawing people from big cities to the Norfolk countryside.
He said: “We’re pleasantly surprised with how quickly the market has returned to pre-Covid-19 levels. As a result of lockdown and working from home becoming more feasible, we’ve definitely seen a behavioural shift among buyers. People have been spending more time than ever at home, so space and access to the great outdoors are even higher on their priority lists.”
Abel Homes has been a customer of Lloyds Bank since 2011, when it was building 30 homes a year. Lloyds Bank’s support, which has also included asset finance on tools and vehicles, has enabled the business to grow significantly, now building in excess of 100 homes a year and growing its annual turnover to £25m.
Paul LeGrice continued: “Having the backing of Lloyds Bank and a relationship manager who understands the market has made all the difference. Across many industries, there’s an increasing focus on sustainability, and property is no different. Lloyds Bank has encouraged our efforts to operate more sustainably and, with its ongoing support, we are looking to continue to grow our business with a real focus on sustainable energy efficient new homes.”
Barry Coote, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, added: “Our Clean Growth Finance Initiative is all about helping green-minded businesses to consider and make improvements to their environmental impact. Paul and the team at Abel Homes realise the importance of not just continuing to grow, but doing so with sustainability and energy efficiency at the forefront of their agenda. We will continue to be by the side of East of England businesses to help them do the same.”