Brokers confident for 2019
A majority of brokers are confident about the year ahead, according to our latest Broker Sentiment Survey with 42% of brokers predicting an improvement in market conditions in 2019.
Some 37% of the 113 brokers questioned believe overall market conditions will remain the same in 2019, whilst only 21% of brokers surveyed said market conditions would get worse this year. Almost three quarters (71%) of brokers surveyed said the impact of Brexit would be the main challenge for UK financial services firms in 2019, while 17% cited economic uncertainty, and 4% said lending restrictions would be the biggest challenge.
Despite these challenges, demand for specialist finance is expected to remain strong, with 82% of brokers preparing for a further rise in bridging finance volume in 2019.
In addition, 75% of those questioned reported an actual rise in bridging loan volume in 2018.
For the fourth consecutive quarter, funding a development project was the main reason borrowers took out bridging loans in the last quarter of 2018 at 33%, followed by property purchases at 29%. Whilst 13% of brokers said refurbishment was the most popular purpose for bridging finance in Q4 2018.
For the sixth consecutive quarter, the South East saw the biggest demand for bridging finance in the UK during the fourth quarter of 2018, at 54% — a 7% increase on Q3 2018.
The second highest area of demand was in the Midlands. Only 12% of brokers noted demand for bridging finance in London, down from 41% in the previous quarter.
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