"In recent years the bridging market has evolved significantly, now viewed as an effective financial solution for the longer term."
More than a quarter (26%) of brokers believe that the bridging market is best positioned to benefit from the current strength of the property market, according to a recent survey from Shawbrook Bank.
Semi-commercial was the second most likely area to grow with 24% of brokers predicting strong growth, followed in third place by buy-to-let at 23%.
67% of brokers have seen an increase in business volumes since the start of the year with half reporting an increase of 20% or more in current business levels. The research also found that a substantial 71% of brokers expect to see landlords increase the number of properties in their portfolios this year.
As a sign of how the market has evolved in the past year, at the end of 2020 60% of commercial brokers were confident that business levels would grow. When asked the same question in June 2021, 74% of commercial brokers said they were confident about the prospect of business growth until the end of year.
Brokers also reported a shift in buying patterns, with 44% noticing a change in the types of residential properties that their client is looking to buy. 42% admitted that the main reason for this swing is because of the stronger rental yields that are currently being achieved by alternative property types.
Gavin Seaholme, head of sales at Shawbrook Bank, commented: “In what could have been a really difficult period for the market, a sense of urgency from buyers and sellers has instead created a perfect storm of increased activity levels and higher property values. Even as the stamp duty holiday has come to a close, our research highlights a continued confidence and commitment to the market from landlords and investors. Those in a position to diversify or expand their portfolios are not shying away from current opportunities.
“In recent years the bridging market has evolved significantly, now viewed as an effective financial solution for the longer term. Bridging allows investors to access capital at a much faster rate than through more traditional finance options. The popularity and opportunity for growth in this area shows no signs of slowing down, even as we enter a quieter period for the market. For brokers, it’s important that they are making clients aware of all possible finance options that work for them both in the short and long-term.”