Bridging Finance

15/11/2019
Bridging Finance

Confidence grows amongst UK bridging lenders

Research by the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) has found that bridging lenders have grown in confidence about the outlook for the UK economy, their own business and the bridging sector.

The study, which was carried out shortly after the date was confirmed for the forthcoming General Election, revealed that over 75% of bridging lenders are confident about the long-term prospects for the UK economy, compared to just 50% when the survey was last run in June. Lenders have also grown in confidence about the prospects for their own business.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they expect their business to grow over the next six months, which is up from 59% in the last survey. Meanwhile, 52% of lenders said they expect the bridging sector to grow in the next six months, compared to 23% who anticipated growth in June.

Throughout this period, lenders also expect modest growth in competition from other lenders and competition is no longer seen as the biggest challenge for bridging lenders. It has been replaced by the slow moving property market, which was identified as the main hurdle by 55% of respondents.

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Minimum Loan amount top in bridging category

Knowledge Bank’s most recent criteria activity index for October has revealed that minimum loan amount was the most searched for criteria in the bridging category.

In the commercial category, mixed-use properties/part commercial has entered the top five, while semi-commercial properties has retained the top spot. First-time landlords has returned to the top of the BTL category for the first time since July, while lending to limited companies — which was the most searched for criteria in the previous month — has dropped to second.

Knowledge Bank CEO Nicola Firth said: “There was more change in the bridging sector with searches for regulated bridging losing the top spot it had held for the past two months to searches for the minimum loan amount.

Additionally, in the commercial sector, we saw searches for mixed-use properties, i.e. part commercial, enter the top five searches for the first time. Within the BTL sector brokers have been looking for lenders who would consider first-time landlords, making this the most popular search performed during the entire month, the first time this has happened since July.”

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