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A changing bridging audience

There is a general increased appetite for bridging across the UK, John Hardman, head of sales at Bridging Finance Solutions, has said.

This comes as Bridging Finance Solutions look to continue growth and expansion and begin to understand where new customer groups lay in terms of a wider demographic.

Hardman argues that despite bridging being more concentrated in London and the South East, the Midlands and North of England are not far behind.

He said:  “Whilst bridging is much more concentrated in London and the South East, the Midlands through to the North of England continue to see growth in the short term market both in numbers and volume.

“Whilst the value of a typical loan in the North is considerably lower than in the South, the market is no less buoyant in terms of physical numbers of transactions due in the main to the number of hungry experienced property investors, landlords and builders that exist in the region.”

Hardman also discusses the age demographic of the average bridging customer.

He added: “The average age of a bridging customer age is 56, compared to 37 for a standard mortgage.

“As individuals approach the age of 50, thoughts inevitably turn towards retirement. It is a common fact that many have not provided anything like the amount they should have towards retirement.

“The large majority of investors age above 50 are gearing their portfolio towards providing an adequate income in retirement coupled with growth in their capital.”

There is a rise in the number of employed or retirees seeking short-term finance options according to Hardman, which is a move from the traditional self-employed and property investor base that has been seen previously.

“In terms of employment status, a significant proportion of our investors currently are either self- employed builders/property investors.

“This has always been the case as this demographic has the knowledge to quickly assess the viability of a project to, for example, refurbish a property and turn a profit.

“Despite that, we are seeing more and more employed or retired clients who have taken the time to research this market.

“The market is opening up and individuals are recognising the scope and value of bridging to help them meet their end goal.”

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