The study by Bluestone Mortgages found that 34% of respondents agreed that it would “grow significantly”.
More than half (52%) thought that lending would grow by at least £1bn over the next six months.
Of these, 37% believed that it would increase by £1bn-£5bn, while 20% claimed it would rise by over £5bn.
A third of respondents saw the growing number of self-employed workers looking to purchase a home as the biggest opportunity for the specialist lending market.
More than a quarter (26%) cited increased competition and pricing as the biggest opportunity, followed by increased product choice (21%) and consumer confidence (21%).
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Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages (pictured above), said: “A growing number of borrowers do not fit traditional lending criteria and the opportunities here for brokers and specialist lenders are unique.
“Customer lifestyles and habits are changing, and the market needs to adapt with this.
“With the number of self-employed workers rising, it is vital that this is met with a market fully prepared to cater for this growing pool of borrowers.”
Stephanie Charman, specialist relationship manager at PMS, added: “This market has seen significant growth over recent years, both in terms of lending volumes, along with the increased number of lenders available offering a wide range of products and criteria.
“This increase has been instrumental in providing advisers with more opportunities and solutions for their customers.
“However, with some lending areas still appearing complex, ongoing education and support for advisers remains paramount.”