Uncertainty brings opportunity – Sealey

by: Jonathan Sealey, chief executive officer, Hope Capital
  • 07/03/2019
  • 0
Uncertainty brings opportunity – Sealey
Brexit is still the topic of the moment as we draw ever closer to the March 29 cut off.

We are still no further on than we were this time last year, but rather than become more panicked and nervous about the future of the UK economy, bridging lenders have actually become more confident.

According to the latest data from the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), more than 57 per cent of bridging lenders said they were confident about the long-term future for the UK economy compared to 37 per cent in March last year.

This is a huge rise and a really interesting shift in sentiment, particularly when you consider that confidence about the bridging market specifically is actually falling.

The survey also found that while three quarters said that they expect their business volumes to grow in the next six months, 29% think the overall bridging market will shrink. And expectations for the property market overall are fairly low, with 70% saying they think property prices will fall.

So what does this really mean? Bridging lenders are confident overall but not about the bridging market? Does this mean they are just trying to be realistic and erring on the side of caution, or is their confidence in bridging actually falling?

It is hard to say, because no one really knows, as is highlighted by this rather confused response from bridging lenders.

And who can blame them? Because, despite all the warnings from economists that the property market would fall through the floor following the Brexit vote in 2016, we had our biggest month to date.

And the same thing may well happen again post-March 29.

I think what this survey does show is that the bridging market is preparing as best it can for what is still a fairly uncertain future. And that is all they can do. There will be winners and losers, but there will also be opportunities and if bridging lenders have the right products, services and people in place, they will be able to take advantage of those opportunities; whatever they may be.


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