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Bridging lenders are positive about their prospects despite Article 50 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 April 2017
The latest sentiment survey from ASTL lender members reveals that they are increasingly positive about their, and the sector’s, prospects, despite the triggering of the UK’s divorce from the EU. 

45% of respondents are now confident about the future prospects of the UK economy. This has now increased from just 35% in November 2016. It is even up compared to how they felt a year ago before the referendum was even held, as following the budget in April last year only 38% felt positive about the future prospects of the UK.

Of the remaining members, only 21% said that they were not confident about the prospects for the UK over the next 12 months, down from a huge 67% immediately after the referendum. The remaining 34% feel that the economy will remain pretty much as it is now.

On the other hand, only 22% said that the latest budget statement made them feel more positive about the long term future of the UK economy, with the majority (56%) sitting on the fence awaiting developments. It’s to be hoped that their caution is overdone.

Lenders were massively positive about the prospects for their own businesses as 85% feel that volumes will grow over the next six months. The balance felt that there would be no change, with no-one expecting business to fall off. This is a very positive statement. If this forecast turns into reality, then the whole bridging sector will grow substantially.

This positivity does not extend to the same extent regarding the whole bridging sector, although confidence is up here too, with 56% feeling that the bridging market as a whole will grow compared to just 19% in June last year immediately following the referendum. This growth will bring in new entrants to the market, with 52% of respondents expecting greater competition.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL, says “Good results in Q1 of 2017 have caused lenders to be more positive about the future. The ASTL should continue to grow in both numbers and influence as recognition of the sector spreads. Bridging finance has come a long way and, whilst there will no doubt be ups and downs, it’s here to stay.”
 
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