Bridging and development sector boost
Members of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers arranged £2.84bn in bridging and development finance loans during the 2010/11 tax year.
This is more than double the amount arranged in the previous tax year which totalled £1.36bn.
The growth trajectory seen at the NACFB is reflected in lending volumes at Dragonfly Property Finance which have also risen sharply over the past two to three years.
Compared to 2010, the number of completions at Dragonfly during 2011 was 48% higher by number of loans and 58% higher by value of loans.
The first two months of 2012 have seen this trend continue with more investors either taking out finance for the first time or expanding their portfolios.
Compared to the first two months of 2011, completions were up 41% by number of loans and 40% by value of loans.
Commenting, Jonathan Samuels, CEO, Dragonfly Property Finance, said: "These figures reflect how bridging and development finance has bucked the trend, showing growth at a time when other markets have stagnated or gone into reverse.
"While the number of bridges and development loans being taken out is rising, so too is their value which reflects how investors have grown more bullish, taking on bigger projects.
"Why has the market shown such exceptional growth? Because the high street lenders are often no longer interested, not even in perfectly viable projects.
"The way the property market is financed has undergone a paradigm shift in recent years and we believe the role of specialist finance companies will become not necessarily mainstream, but certainly more than just niche."
Adam Tyler, chief executive, NACFB, added: "The bridging and development finance sector has come on in leaps and bounds in the past two to three years and there's no doubt that specialist lenders have seized the day.
"New entrants have introduced both rate competition and innovation, which has made for a virtuous circle.
"Given the difficulties prospective homeowners are likely to face getting onto the property ladder for some time yet, Buy-to-let looks set to continue to drive the sector forward in the short- to medium-term."
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