According to the results from mtf’s latest Broker Sentiment Survey, a majority of brokers are confident about business growth in 2018.
Some 68% of brokers believe overall market conditions will improve in 2018, a sea change in opinion from January 2017, when only 31% of brokers surveyed were confident about the year ahead.
Half of the 106 brokers surveyed said macroeconomic uncertainty would be the main challenge for UK financial services firms in 2018, while 28% cited the impact of Brexit negotiations, and 13% said the level of market competition would be the biggest challenge. Only 6% of brokers thought regulation would prove a challenge.
Despite this, demand for specialist finance is expected to remain strong, with 84% of brokers preparing for a further rise in bridging finance volume in 2018
after 73% of those questioned reported an actual rise in bridging loan volume in 2017.
Refurbishment was the main reason borrowers took out bridging loans in the last quarter of 2017 at 28%, followed by property purchases and funding development projects, at 19% each.
For the fifth consecutive quarter the South East saw the biggest demand for bridging finance in the UK during the fourth quarter of 2017, at 47% – a 1% drop on Q3.
The geographical spread of bridging finance demand continued in the last quarter of 2017, with brokers noting an increase in demand in Northern Ireland (4%), Scotland (3%) and the North East of England (3%).
After the challenges faced in 2017, it is encouraging to see that brokers’ confidence is strong as we enter the New Year. We’re delighted that brokers see the demand for a growth in bridging finance in 2018 and the reasons are simple, bridging loans provide a real-time solution to the funding gap that has developed as high street lenders come to terms with increased regulation.
We can continue to expect to see a substantial rise in the demand for bridging finance throughout the rest of the year. For more information or to discuss a new enquiry, contact the team on 0203 051 2331.