Barber And Hawthorn
Barber, left, and Hawthorn

Landmark boosts resi underwriting division with latest hire

Landmark Development Solutions, the residential underwriting arm of Landmark Investments, has appointed Ian Barber as head of new business.

Barber most recently ran Hunters flagship branch in Manchester, and will be working alongside chief executive Mark Hawthorn in delivering the LDS offer to developers.

Hawthorn said: “This is a very important hire for LDS. We launched the company last year and have had a growing stream of interest from developers and lenders. Ian will ensure that in addition to managing the current and growing demand across the North West, we can drive the concept nationwide.

“Our main focus is on SME developers, typically developing 15-60 units per scheme or phase, with a GDV between £3m and £20m.

“We find this is a particular sweet spot as funding can be expensive and hard to come by due to the speculative nature of development. Our offering removes all pricing and demand risk, changing the profile of the scheme and enabling lenders and developers to confidently move ahead with new housing.

“SMEs are generally experienced and highly capable, but without certainty over sales, it can be a leap of faith that both they and their lender are unwilling to take. LDS removes this uncertainty allowing developers to get on site and create more housing supply.”

LDS de-risks schemes, by underwriting sales, while the developer retains the ability to sell at open market value and generate return. If there are unsold units at the end of the development, LDS will step in to complete so that the developer and their lenders can have a clean exit.

“We are currently active on a number of housing sites, in towns and suburbs across the North West, working with a range of construction companies, developers, local authorities and lenders,” said Hawthorn.

“We have big plans for LDS, and in addition to hiring Ian we are looking to appoint further senior hires in due course as we roll out nationwide.”

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