Brokers reporting increase in demand for bridging finance

The pandemic has driven a rise in customers looking for bridging products, according to new research from Masthaven Bank.

A study of 140 brokers found that over seven in 10 (71%) said awareness of bridging finance is growing across the market.

The findings also revealed that half (51%) of brokers say they’re seeing more customers come to them for bridging finance, with just 3% reporting a decrease.

Masthaven suggested the rising interest in bridging products is focused on the specialist lending market, with over a third of brokers (35%) reporting they have seen more cases that in the past would have gone to a high street lender instead.

“The pandemic has proved uniquely stressful and disruptive for the UK housing market, even while property prices and transaction levels have climbed to new highs,” said Masthaven sales director, Richard Deacon.

“Bridging finance has always been a useful tool, but in the current market it has really come into its own, growing in popularity as both brokers and borrowers look for flexible short-term finance solutions. Increasingly, these solutions have come from the specialist sector, which has worked hard to innovate and provide customers with the right tools to navigate this busy period.”

When asked about what is currently fuelling the bridging finance boom, brokers cited several key factors. The pandemic has caused notable disruption to the housing market and 41% of brokers said that chain breaks and mortgage delays were the most important reasons that drove customers to look for bridging finance.

The research also indicated a boom in DIY and refurbishments, which just over a third (34%) of brokers cited as the main reason. These were followed by borrowers buying at auction (28%), borrowers looking to raise capital (19%), and borrowers looking to re-bridge (11%).

“The factors pushing borrowers towards bridging may have been boosted by the pandemic, but they’re not going away any time soon,” Deacon added.

“Bridging finance is no longer just an emergency option for borrowers, it has become truly mainstream. As awareness of the power and utility of bridging continues to grow, it will be increasingly important that lenders work hard to make their products competitive and accessible.”

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