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Downsizers using bridging to escape property prison – BFS

by: John Hardman, head of sales at Bridging Finance Solutions
  • 12/07/2018
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Downsizers using bridging to escape property prison – BFS
The UK short term bridging market is worth an estimated £3bn annually and has seen sustained growth for a number of years – but this masks a varied national picture. Bridging Finance Solutions’ (BFS) John Hardman assesses the state of play in the North of England.

 

While the landlord market around London has been slowing down over the last year, the North of England continues to see increases in the numbers of people either entering the market or growing existing property portfolios.

This has continued as the availability of large numbers of comparatively low value properties coupled with higher yields continue to make this a popular hunting ground for investors UK-wide.

The most obvious difference between the regions is deal size and property values, which have always been a degree higher in the south of the country, especially so in London.

But what remains essential is the skill to pick a way through a deal and ensure a robust and realistic exit is put in place before funds are advanced.

While this is true of any bridge it has become more of a focal point for high value single assets as mortgage and buy-to-let criteria has tightened up.

 

More mainstream uses

It is clear that bridging is becoming much more mainstream as the number of uses increases and the costs have decreased in line with this.

At BFS we are seeing an increase in numbers of repeat clients moving on to their next project and using our funds to help them achieve it.

Small development projects of around £1m or less are one of the biggest growth areas.

These schemes are broadly ignored by large high street banks as they have clearly set their sights on larger more complex schemes at £2m plus.

As a result we have seen a great number of deals this year where clients are looking at building anything from a single house up to 10 units.

 

Downsizers taking advantage

Client groups are also changing in the current economic and often illiquid property climate.

There have been a number of retired and lower income applicants who have approached us this year looking to chain break and downsize their residential homes.

They like the fact we can take a commercial view regardless of their current financial status and enable them to maybe downsize into a home they have had their eye on for some time.

These homes are often more suitable for their circumstances and often need to be snapped up quickly as they are nearly always in the same area as where they live.

In addition, we have also started to see a number of probate enquiries where we can help release funds while a deceased’s estate is being administered.

 

 

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