Brokers predict boost in bridging

Nia Williams

January 20, 2012

That figure is higher still among brokers who specialise in bridging business, who expect the volume of loans they write to increase by 33% in the next year.

According to a poll carried out by West One, only 9% of brokers say they are writing less bridging business than 12 months ago; 28% said they are writing a similar number of loans, while 63% of brokers are writing more loans than 12 months ago.

Overall, brokers are writing 28% more bridging loans than a year ago, with one in ten saying the volume they have written has more than doubled in the last year.

Duncan Kreeger, chairman of West One Loans, said: “The bridging industry has grown rapidly since 2010. Net lending is up 56%, which makes the mainstream market look turgid by comparison.

“2012 will be a testing year for mainstream lenders. The CML has done its best to map out an encouraging year for the mortgage market, but the topography looks treacherous. Gross lending will only be a third of what it was in 2007.

“It means borrowers are finding traditional longer-term funding harder to come by, which is making bridging finance a more attractive option.”

Only 14% of brokers say LTVs on bridging loans are likely to fall over the next six months, reflecting the strong demand by borrowers for more highly geared products. Around 36% say LTVs will rise next year, and just under half (49%) predict they won’t change.

There was also positive news for borrowers and buy-to-let landlords on rates, with two-thirds (67%) of brokers predicting the average rate on a bridging loan will either hold steady or fall in the next six months.

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