Bridging finance regarded as well established in British mortgage market

Bridging lenders in the UK are positive about the future with the majority expecting this sector of the mortgage industry to grow, according to a new sentiment survey.

The upbeat outlook from members of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) suggests that the use of bridging loans as a financial tool for property transactions is well established.

Some 78% of members expect their business turnover to grow and 63% are expecting the same of the bridging finance sector as a whole. In addition, they are very positive about the prospects of providing short term finance to SME house builders with 93% believing that this is a growth area.

However, members are slightly less sanguine about the long term future prospects of the UK economy, positivity has decreased from 50% in December 2017 to 43%. No less than 52% are unsure and only 11% are negative.

The survey report says that this is likely due to the protracted nature of the Brexit negotiations combined with the rise in inflation which in turn is likely to lead to higher interest rates.

Members are split about the direction of property prices, with 52% expecting slight growth and 48% expecting prices to fall. They are lukewarm about the potential impact of the Spring Statement, with 48% neutral and 19% negative.

‘Whilst I remain cautious about future prospects for the UK in a very uncertain world, in which the economic climate can change overnight, members are confident that they will continue to prosper,’ said Benson Hersch, ASTL chief executive officer.

‘The use of bridging as a financial tool, both for property transactions and for other business purposes is now well-established,’ he added.

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