It also raised concerns that the market may be showing signs of some “scary trends” which harked back to the pre-crash boom.
Head of intermediary sales Damien Druce told Specialist Lending Solutions that the EY Bridging Market Study 2018, published earlier this month, had raised uncomfortable issues.
“There are some scary trends at the moment that look a lot like 2005-06,” he said. “For example there’s suggestions that lenders could begin buying brokers again.”
However, he noted that in general the market was in a positive space, adding: “It’s a buoyant market right now which was not expected given the current wider economic and political environment, which is good.
“It’s easy to get stuck into the pessimistic view but we look at where we can find opportunities anywhere in the UK.
“There’s a great deal of opportunities outside London and the South East, for example Northern Ireland is doing well,” Druce added
Smaller deals demand
In a reflection of this changing market the lender explained that along with continuing to recruit staff it was also examining how it processed smaller loans.
The need for more smaller loan amounts has been a key demand of brokers as the market has developed outside London and in smaller projects over recent months.
Druce said: “We are looking at our internal processes to see how we can better administer those smaller deals, to see if we can process it a lot quicker.
“We have always seen these smaller deals, we’re just making sure we can get our people to handle these with maximum efficiency.”
The refurbishment product has guideline loan values of between £250,000 and £1.5m, however the lender will listen to offers outside these amounts.
It will offer this starting from 0.6% interest, with a preferred loan to gross development value (LTGDV) of 60% and a maximum LTGDV of 70%.
New lender innovation
Druce also noted that the market was buzzing with new lenders and hoped they would bring creative solutions.
“We embrace competition in the market – it’s never been more competitive,” he said
“We would look for any new additions to come with something a bit different. I like the Octane model – that’s good because its different.
“If a new lender is just shaving 0.4% off a rate what’s it really doing? So, I’d like to see something a bit unusual,” he added.