Quarter four typically sees a number of ‘urgent’ cases where completion is required before year end.
This can prove problematic when trying to arrange valuations and liaise with lawyers.
Our experience is that the more third parties introduced to a proposal, such as contractors or other lenders for example, the longer these cases can take – therefore, we rely heavily on proactive clients and their lawyers.
Deal size and property values continue to be the fundamental differentiator between northern and southern markets.
Business volume tends to be steered towards London specialists and we are happy operating in our own space which is typically covered across the Midlands, Wales and North England.
It is interesting to note that the number of ‘out of the ground’ property development deals has been markedly up in the North and this is a trend we see continuing into 2019.
We are now starting to see more enquiries for bridging and development in the Midlands and Wales.
Considerable impact of uncertainty
For 2019, I believe economic and political uncertainty will continue to have a considerable impact, particularly during the first half of next year.
The property market is sensitive to a number of factors, not just fluctuations in interest rates, so we will be aware of any early warning signs that may affect pricing and demand.
At BFS, we have always priced in line with risk and kept LTV’s at a sensible level to enable us to react quickly to any future developments.
We will continue to champion the small developer by funding more sub £1m developments which we see very much as a prime driver of the wider economy, focusing on the Northern market and using technology to enhance and strengthen our products and customer service offering.