West One Loans: Bridging Market Will Hit £1bn by 2013

By Bridging Loan Directory -

Bridging lenders will be making gross loans to the tune of £1bn by the summer of 2013 according to West One Loans, which is hiring staff to deal with the extra work.

The privately funded bridging lender says the growth will be driven by the housing shortage, the demand from property investors and buy-to-let investors and the lack of alternative funding on the high street – as well as the booming private rented sector and the professionalisation of the industry.

The bridging market was worth about £700m a year in 2010.  By the end of the first half of 2011, it is already being valued at about £750m a year.

The AOBP has also shown the sector booming, albeit on a different scale.  The trade body’s Market Report records the total value of loans completed by a sample panel of the brokers rising to £77m a quarter in June 2011 – suggesting total annualised lending of £306m.

Duncan Kreeger, Chairman of West One Loans said:

“The amount the industry is lending has grown significantly amount over the last six months.  Conservative estimates suggest lenders are writing £750m worth of business every year at the moment, which is about 7% more than in the winter of 2010.  There is no reason why the factors at work – including the growth in the private rented sector, strict lending criteria on the high street, and the professionalisation of the sector will not continue to drive the bridging market.  In those circumstances, the market will grow at a similar rate over the next two years.  That will see us break the £1bn barrier by the summer of 2013.  As a specialist provider of short term bridging finance, we are benefitting from the trend and to deal with the new business, we’ve had to ramp up our expansion and start hiring more staff.  That will soon start to happen across the industry”.

West One Loans is appointing Jason Fantini as a BDM with a remit to develop new broker relationships outside of London.  Fantini who joins the company on Monday 15th August will be responsible for developing new broker relationships across the UK and in particular outside of the London region.  He joins West One Loans from London based Bespoke Bridging Finance and has previously held senior positions within Barclays Bank for over 16 years.  Fantini will be joining current BDM Manish Babla in ensuring West One Loans is fully represented across the UK.

Commenting on the appointment, Duncan Kreeger said:

“This is turning out to be a significant year for us.  Attracting proven sales talent is essential to those plans and Jason brings with him a wealth of experience which will be a great asset to our business growth ambitions”.