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Less than a quarter of brokers say 2023 was ‘good’ for business

  • 12/12/2023
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Less than a quarter of brokers say 2023 was ‘good’ for business
Approximately 22 per cent of brokers surveyed said that 2023 was a good year for business, a fall from 48 per cent last year, a survey has found.

According to Crystal Specialist Finance’s annual survey, which gathered views from its database of 10,000 brokers , over three quarters said that business was the same or down on the previous year. This is an increase from 53 per cent in 2022.

However, brokers said that they were more optimistic for next year with 31 per cent confident about the year ahead and only eight per cent saying they were worried. This compares to 26 per cent and 15 per cent respectively last year.

The cost of living crisis is less of a concern at 64 per cent, a fall from 76 per cent last year and high inflation did not make the top challenges for business growth this year.

Only 17 per cent believe that there would be further to go, with 39 per cent predicting a fall. Over a third expect the base rate to fall and over half said the same thing last year.

Over a third of brokers said that they had diversified into bridging, 28 per cent into buy to let and 26 per cent into commercial lending.

Two thirds of brokers agree that they expect to diversify further into 2024.

Almost three quarters said that they planned to work more with a distributor like Crystal Specialist Finance in the coming year, pointing to increased complex cases, complex income streams, clients looking to use bridging and auction purchases. This is a rise from 52 per cent last year.

Around three quarters of respondees are using digital case management to submit deals and nearly three quarters predicted a landslide victory for Labour in the general election next year.

Jo Breeden (pictured), managing director at Crystal Specialist Finance, said: “2023 should have been the return to some form of normality in the market. Instead, we have seen continuous Bank of England base rate rises to counter higher than forecast inflation and a consequent cooling of the property market.

“Our research has revealed that brokers remain uncertain about next year, have diversified into new markets to bolster their businesses and see the role of a distributor like Crystal as increasingly important.”

He added: “While the wider residential housing market has further to fall as we move into 2024, brokers are more confident about the outlook. The new year presents opportunities for the resilient broker that is prepared to venture into new markets – such as bridging, commercial finance and complex buy to let – where Crystal specialises.

“As ever, we will continue to provide our expert, award winning service as the industry faces into a challenging year ahead.”

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