The latest sentiment survey from ASTL lender members reveals that they remain positive about their, and the sector’s, prospects, despite the current political uncertainty.

Members are slightly less sanguine about the long-term future prospects of the UK economy. Positivity has now decreased from 45% in March to 43%.  This is still well above the 35% who felt positive in January, and the meagre 6% of members who felt positive post the Brexit referendum.

55% of members said they felt less positive directly as a result of the election.  34% now say that they are not confident about the prospects for the UK over the next 12 months.  This is up from 21% in March but significantly better than the 67% who were not confident about the UK economy post-referendum.  The remaining 23% feel that the economy will remain pretty much as it is now.

Only 2% feel more positive about the UK economy post-election.   This compares with 22% post-budget.   Probably this reflects worry about how a weak government will negotiate the terms of Brexit.

Lenders remain positive about the prospects for their own businesses as 70% feel that their volumes will grow over the next six months.  Only 6% expect business to fall off, with the balance expecting no or little growth.   This is a very positive attitude.  If this forecast turns into reality, then in turn the whole bridging sector will grow substantially.  In fact, 59% expect growth in the sector to increase and 56% expect an increase in competition in the sector.  No doubt there will be more new entrants, although some, like Borro, have decided to quit bridging finance for now.  

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL, says “Whilst there is understandable caution about future prospects, the sector will continue to grow.   While there are signs that the rate of past growth in prices in the residential property sector will not continue, this should not inhibit the long-term growth of bridging as more and more people realise that the flexibility it offers provides a useful source of short-term funding.”

 

Press release 20 July 2017