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Bridging lenders are feeling positive about their prospects in 2020 despite the uncertainty created by Brexit and the forthcoming general election.

Nearly three quarters of lenders in this sector expect their business to grow over the next six months – far more than the 59% who were predicting growth in the last survey, conducted in June.

The survey, which quizzed members of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), was carried out just after the date was confirmed for the general election.

Despite this, more than 75% of those questioned were confident about the long –term prospects for the UK economy. Back in June just 50% shared this sentiment.

Competition and turnover

In the next six months, over half of lenders said they thought the market would grow compared to fewer than a quarter in June.

This also meant they expected modest growth in competition. However, competition from other lenders was no longer seen as the biggest challenge for them – instead it was the slow moving property market which was identified as the main hurdle by 55% of those questioned.

Brexit

The ASTL also revealed the number of lenders who would vote to remain in the European Union if there was a second referendum has changed since the beginning of the year.

Back in January, 75% said they would vote to remain, but now most lenders would choose to leave with Boris Johnson’s deal.

Benson Hersch, CEO at the ASTL, said: “Overall, our members are very positive about prospects for the UK, their own businesses and the bridging sector as a whole.

“Competition is expected to increase slightly in the next six months, but this seems to hold little concern for our members, and the downward slope in positivity has been reversed.

“It is hoped that the general feeling of positivity will turn out to be realistic and we look forward to a great end to 2019 and an even better year ahead in 2020.”

By Kate Saines

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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