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Bridging lenders: vultures or saviours?

by: Mark Posniak
  • 25/01/2011
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Bridging lenders: vultures or saviours?
According to a very well-respected journalist in our industry, there have been some rumblings in recent months that bridging loan companies are hovering, vulture-like, over the carcass of the mortgage market, picking away at hapless borrowers and pretty much naming their price.

Well, as one of the more active bridging lenders in the market right now, I can say that is absolutely not the case.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Short- and medium-term finance is currently the lifeline of a sector that is starved of liquidity. Without the loans that we and other bridging companies have been making, activity levels would have been far lower.

December’s gross mortgage lending data from the CML showing loan levels are for the fourth month running at a ten-year low highlights just how dire the situation has become.

Consumers are nervous about unemployment, rising living costs and higher rates; the high street is still steering well clear of higher LTVs, while swap rates are on the up.

It’s not a pretty sight.

As Paul Sabbato, a director at packager First 4 Bridging, said recently in a media statement: “The near-paralysis of the mortgage market continues.”

But who gets the flak? Not the high street lenders, which are scared of their own shadows and paralysed with fear, but us. The lenders that are actually prepared to lend, are brave enough to do so and that want to breathe some life back into the market.

For every accusation of us feeding vulture-like off the market, we have a case study of an investor who has managed to buy the property they wanted because we were there to lend.

And success stories like that are worth far more than the negative and totally counter-productive stories in the rumour mill.

Mark Posniak is marketing and operations director of Drawbridge Finance

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