Nick Jones

There are more innovative uses for bridging loans



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It’s now more than a decade since the financial crash, and one of its lasting legacies has been tighter restrictions on borrowing.

Those banks who got their fingers burnt have been reluctant to offer lending, instead relying on rigid tick-box criteria to decide applications.

Some, however, are swimming against the tide. Together has been in business for over 44 years and has always operated a commonsense lending approach.

This approach means we can often lend when others won’t. For instance, we’ll consider most circumstances – including customers who might be self-employed or have complicated incomes – or those who want to buy difficult-to-mortgage properties like nightlife venues, ex-council properties, and mixed-use developments.

Many building owners, particularly in prime city centre locations, could take advantage of the demand for retail and restaurant space by converting ground floor and basement spaces into rentable units. This typically requires planning permission for a change of use, which can take several months to be granted.

Securing the required funding can be tricky for clients until planning permission is granted – especially on a mixed-use property – and meanwhile, they will have to contend with upfront costs, such as paying architects.

In circumstances like these, a bridging loan can be used to span the gap between the start of planning and the completion of works and, with it, longer-term borrowing based on the redeveloped property’s increased value.

We’re seeing more innovative uses for bridging loans, and a larger appetite for lending over shorter time periods as customers look to expand their portfolios, increase yields, and change the uses of their properties. All these factors are nudging bridging finance away from being what was perhaps once seen as a niche product.

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