1 in 5 brokers consider new market entrants a

1 in 5 brokers consider new market entrants a "problem"

Almost 50 per cent of brokers believe that the negative perception of the industry is bridging's biggest problem, according to a recent survey carried out by.

Almost 50 per cent of brokers believe that the negative perception of the industry is bridging’s biggest problem, according to a recent survey carried out by specialist bridging funder Central Bridging Loans.

The study, which questioned 170 of Central Bridging’s own brokers, also found that while many are worried about their industry’s negative appearance, 38 per cent are also wary of continually-tightening lender criteria.

26 per cent still felt that bridging’s biggest problem was that lenders were still unwilling to consider security properties from outside of the M25, while more than 1 in 5 (22 per cent) pointed the finger at new, inexperienced entrants to the sector.

The results match similar findings from B&C’s own survey, carried out in September, in which it was discovered that 36 per cent of respondents also consider bridging’s negative perception as the biggest problem within the industry.

Figure 1: Which of the following do you believe is the biggest problem in bridging?

At the other end of the spectrum, brokers were also asked what they considered to be the most important factor when selecting a bridging lender.

40 per cent of those surveyed said that the speed at which a lender made decisions was most integral to the success of their cases, though only 16 per cent concluded that it was the overall completion speed of their deal that made them choose a funder.

22 per cent cited cheaper finance – specifically lower rates for their clients – as proving the biggest attraction to a particular lender, while 1 in 9 (11 per cent) valued the availability of products with LTVs of at least 60 per cent.

None of those who responded said that they chose a funder on the strength of any rewards or loyalty incentives that might be offered to them, while only 1 per cent of brokers were drawn to an institution that provided higher procuration fees.

Figure 2: What is your most important requirement when selecting a bridging lender

Central Bridging also reported that 64 per cent of those questioned would, when seeking bridging finance, first approach a principal lender, while just over half that number – 34 per cent – would go to a specialist packager.

Judging by the responses gathered, the bridging industry seems to still be a lucrative and active market, with 13 per cent of brokers saying that they had placed a significantly higher level of bridging business in the past year.

21 per cent of respondents noted a marginally higher level of business, with 41 per cent maintaining a steady rate of bridging deals.

Only 9 per cent of brokers noticed any decline in the amount of deals completed year-on-year, of which 6 per cent described their current level of business as ‘significantly lower’ than it was a year ago.

Speaking about the survey’s findings, Chris Wilson, Director at Central Bridging Loans, said: “Central Bridging Loans is committed to engaging with brokers and any feedback is vital to enable us to evolve our product range and improve our service.

“One of the key messages to come out of the survey is the negative perception of our industry. Principal lenders like ourselves need to work closely with organisations like the AOBP to combat this and help raise the profile of bridging as a positive form of alternative finance.”

He added: “As part of our on-going expansion plans for 2013 we have introduced new streamlined procedures for the submission of case information, speeding up our approvals process. From the survey this was identified as the single most important element of working with a lender.

“CBL would like to thank all of the participants that took part in the survey.”

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