The latest sentiment survey from the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) shows that bridging lenders have grown in confidence about the outlook for the UK economy, their own business and the bridging sector.
The research, which was conducted amongst members of the ASTL shortly after the date was confirmed for the upcoming General Election, found that more than 75% of bridging lenders are confident about the long-term prospects for the UK economy, compared to just 50% when the survey was last run in June.
Lenders have also grown in confidence about the prospects for their own business. Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they expect their business to grow over the next six months, which is up from 59% in the last survey.
This positive outlook is reflected in the expectations of respondents for the turnover of the bridging sector. Just over half of lenders (52%) said that they expect the market to grow in the next six months, compared to less than a quarter (23%) who anticipated growth in June.
Throughout this period, lenders also expect modest growth in competition from other lenders and competition is no longer seen as the biggest challenge for bridging lenders. It has been replaced by the slow moving property market, which was identified as the main hurdle by 55% of respondents.
Another interesting trend from the survey is that, while in January 2019 75% of respondents said that they would vote to remain in the European Union if there were a second referendum, most lenders would now choose to leave with Boris Johnson’s deal.
Benson Hersch, pictured, CEO at the ASTL, says:
“Overall, our members are very positive about prospects for the UK, their own businesses and the bridging sector as a whole. Competition is expected to increase slightly in the next six months, but this seems to hold little concern for our members, and the downward slope in positivity has been reversed. It is hoped that the general feeling of positivity will turn out to be realistic and we look forward to a great end to 2019 and an even better year ahead in 2020.”