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Bridging market showing encouraging signs of activity

The bridging market is showing encouraging signs of activity as investors look to add value or yield, according to the latest Bridging Market Bulletin from Shawbrook Bank.

The bulletin delivers a snapshot of the latest trends and outlook for the UK bridging finance market.

This optimistic picture is reinforced by recent state of the market data from the ASTL which showed bridging applications hit their highest ever level in Q3 2020, and completions rose by more than 40% as the market bounced back following the first lockdown.

In an analysis of the market, Shawbrook observed the trends driving demand which included a buoyant auction market, an uptick in heavy refurbishment projects and investors capitalising on the stamp duty holiday.

Emma Cox, sales director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “It’s been a difficult time for the property market, and of course the current landscape has left many facing challenges – especially within the bridging space, where some lenders had to halt business in this area for a period of time during the height of the pandemic.

“It is positive to see many of these lenders recently return to market, and as our report shows, to see that the housing market is moving again.

“Whilst some of this activity in the bridging market will no doubt be down to the releasing of pent up demand – something that Rishi Sunak’s stamp-duty holiday will support further – we are also seeing an uptick in investors looking at alternative strategies to sure up investments.

“The use of bridging to carry out refurbishments and conversions, as well as to aid chain breaks due to elongated sales processes, is an essential funding option that can support lucrative investment opportunities.

“We recently announced revised pricing across our bridging range, with rates now starting at 0.5% for both regulated and unregulated products, in order to show our continued appetite to aid brokers in making the most of these opportunities.

“The bridging market has demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout this year and, as much as we may face more challenges towards the end of 2020 and into the early parts of 2021, we believe this adversity may create opportunities for investors, and brokers, which Shawbrook plans to continue to support as much as possible”.

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