A high number of bridging loan applications have been made in Wales in the first few months of 2018.
There are three main reasons for this increase. The housing market is buoyant in Wales, with house prices and house sales rising. Welsh farmers are investing in diversifying their business, and there has been increased property investment in Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea. Some lenders report over a 15% increase in bridging loans to Welsh borrowers.
Bridging finance lenders are finding that about a quarter of bridging loans in Wales are for agricultural businesses. Many Welsh farmers are worried about the effect of Brexit on farming. They see that diversifying and adding additional income streams to their farm business could offset any reduction in their farming income when Britain leaves the European Union. These businesses include bed and breakfast, farm shops and camping sites.
There has been significant economic growth over the last five years in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, with many opportunities for buy to let and commercial property investors.
In the first quarter of 2018 there were 3,300 new homeowners in Wales requiring mortgages and bridging finance. This is 3.1% higher than the first quarter of 2017.
Other growth areas in Wales are building developments and refurbishing projects. Bridging loans can be used for the initial development funding. Homes that need refurbishment to qualify for a mortgage can be bought using bridging finance.
Due to high demand, many bridging finance lenders are looking at expanding their presence in Wales.