According to data from broker Thistle Finance, the South West and North West were particularly active from April to June, with investors chasing greater margin outside the capital area.
The packager received 15% more applications compared to the first three months of the year, but as a result of market changes the average value was down 9%.
It said these trends reflected increased development activity and the growing number of SME firms entering the market and taking on smaller projects.
Thistle Finance managing director Mark Dyason noted that slowly but surely there was a fundamental shift in the development sector.
“A long tail of smaller developers is emerging and gradually increasing its market share, empowered by the proliferation of specialist lenders offering better rates,” he said.
“The supply deficit represents a major commercial opportunity and regional start-up and SME developers, with lower level schemes, are highly active.
“The new wave of developers is increasingly aware that consumer demand is moving away from undifferentiated developments to more bespoke projects that better reflect the character of the areas they are in.
“The monopoly of the major developers is gradually being eroded,” he added.