A majority of SMEs confident in securing finance

Over 70% of real estate small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) show high levels of confidence for securing finance in 2017, research by Hampshire Trust Bank suggests.

The SME Growth Watch Report outlines this majority is higher than the national average of 59% and only SMEs within transportation and distribution, and financial services display higher levels of confidence.

Over half of real estate sector SMEs are likely to invest in capital, which is significantly higher than the national average of 39%, with 57% being confident about long-term economic prospects.

Most SMEs based in the capital note economic uncertainty (48%) as their largest barrier to growth in the coming months whilst those operating north of the border cite increasing competition in the market as their main barrier.

Colin Bell (pictured), managing director of commercial mortgages at Hampshire Trust Bank, said: “There is a shortage of property supply created by conversion of commercial to residential in some sectors and therefore landlords need to move on developments quickly to make the most of the opportunities both in and outside of the capital.

“Looking outside of London, many other regions are holding up well as they have been growing steadily, with these areas outside of London and the South East experiencing steady regrowth following the recession and continue to grow on this trajectory and also offer higher income yields.”

The number of SMEs in the northern powerhouse areas is predicted to rise by up to 25% by 2020, trumping London’s expected growth of 20%.

The report, which Hampshire Trust Bank teamed up with the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) with, indicated a twofold decline in SME lending, blamed on tougher lending criteria.

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