Bridging loan volumes rise in first quarter of 2018

The volume of bridging loans increased by nearly a third in the first quarter of 2018 according to the latest Broker Sentiment Survey. The survey asked 119 brokers about their bridging lending views with 30% of them saying that they had experienced a rise in bridging loan volumes. Demand for bridging finance is high, and this has attracted more brokers and lenders to enter the bridging finance market. Of the brokers surveyed, 37% cited competition as the main issue that they face in 2018. Interest rates and pricing were the main reasons why many borrowers choose a lender, but sometimes flexibility and speed can be the deciding factor. None of the brokers want to see a rise in interest rates, but 26% wanted increases in the time taken to complete bridging loans. Higher loan to values were wanted by 42% of the brokers and 27% said that more flexible lending for commercial loans was needed. The most popular reasons for bridging finance was to fund property development, with 27% of the total being for development in 2018 compared to 19% in the last quarter of 2017. The second most popular reasons were to buy an investment property at 24%, followed by refurbishment at 21%. Many borrowers use bridging finance as a short-term tool whilst waiting for more long-term loans to be arranged. Bridging finance used to be regarded as a niche financial product but is now a viable financial product seen as mainstream.



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