The latest sentiment survey from ASTL lender members reveals confidence around the prospects for their businesses and the UK economy has risen significantly whilst the worry surrounding the outcome of Brexit negotiations has lessened. 1

Members are much more optimistic about the long-term prospects of the UK economy. Positivity has now increased from 43% in June to 50%. Just 20% of members are not feeling confident about the long-term prospects, which has dropped significantly from the 34% that had no confidence in June.

Lenders are particularly positive about the outlook for their own businesses, 75% believe that volumes will grow over the next six months. This confident outlook was also shown in the results as none of the lenders expect business to fall off over the next few months. If this forecast turns into reality, then in turn the whole bridging sector will grow substantially. Over half (51%) of members expect growth in the sector to increase, a significant rise from the post Brexit results in 2016 when just 19% of lenders forecast growth. Additionally, 50% expect an increase in competition in the sector, the lowest figure seen since November 2016.

Almost half of members (48%) believe the measures proposed in the recent Budget statement could have a significant impact on the housing market, but are remaining sceptical until the Government delivers on these reforms.

Almost half (46%) of members expressed their concern for the outcome of Brexit negotiations, which has dropped significantly compared to the 64% of members that were concerned in June. Almost a third of members (29%) stated that they are not worried about the outcome of the negotiations, which has increased noticeably from the 21% that expressed this in June.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL, says: “Whilst there is of course still some caution around Brexit, lenders’ confidence for their businesses and the UK economy continues to grow significantly. In addition, the measures announced in the Budget are likely to have a positive impact on the housing market, although it remains to be seen whether they will actually be implemented in 2018. We hope to see this positive attitude and potential growth in the sector remaining high whilst worry over political uncertainty and its impact continues to decline.

 

Press Release January 2018