I am confident the property market will continue to beat expectations, just like in 2020, and I believe the whole country will be in a much better position towards the summer as the vaccination rollout progresses.
We are still seeing strong demand for bridging loans specifically to help buyers looking to move fast to beat the stamp duty deadline, and we expect this will continue over the coming few weeks.
Opportunity to act may be too late in the mainstream lending market, but bridging lenders like us thrive on opportunities to help clients when time is against them.
We are also seeing sustained interest from non-UK residents looking to purchase before the two per cent stamp duty surcharge comes into place for them on 1 April.
After the stamp duty tax breaks end, volumes will likely dip, especially as government support is scaled back.
However, if we see average property prices fall back a bit as a result, we know there are plenty of property investor clients waiting to take advantage, and actively looking to pick up bargains.
We expect to see an increase in demand for development finance this year, particularly for projects to convert commercial buildings to residential under the new permitted development rights.
The current climate presents that sad inevitability that more of your clients will find themselves excluded from the mainstream mortgage market.
But thankfully the specialist lending sector is thriving and strong, so we will be able to help many of them borrow or refinance, where opportunities allow.
Overall, in 2021 the property market should prove resilient and towards the middle of this year we will have an indication of the impact the vaccination rollout is having. I think there will be a boost in confidence as we start to get on top of the virus.
Changing client needs
Obviously, the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis will start to bite for many, and we will need to be ready to adapt to the changing needs and finances of borrowers.
As a broker, by making sure you know what’s on offer across the specialist lender sector, including short-term finance options, you can be confident you’re able to help those who find themselves blocked from high street lenders.
If you are new to specialist lending, remember that packagers can help you place your complex cases and if you prefer to deal with a lender directly, that is great too.
I am grateful for the support of all our broker partners over the last year and I cannot wait to speak to you again in 2021.