Bridging set for era of innovation

Listing several factors which will influence the state of bridging this year, he prophesied that specialist lenders will ‘come of age’ in 2015 despite being historically maligned by property developers.

Marshall said: “The importance of service has reached its tipping point and I believe we are now in a new era of innovation.

“Brokers and their clients expect knowledgeable staff to act promptly and make fast decisions.

“Underwriting of specialist cases too has to be done on a case by case basis; one size doesn’t always fit all.”

He added: “I think 2015 will be the year that specialist lenders come of age, if they haven’t already.

“The high street banks have been much maligned by property developers in recent years as they can’t provide the right kind of finance in the time required by brokers and their clients.

“This is unlikely to change in 2015. However, the growth of product diversity and flexible options provided by specialist lenders continues and we are now seen as a real alternative as a source of non-mainstream funding.”

According to Marshall a number of retirees will see an opportunity to invest in property after April’s pension reforms come into force, which will allow them to draw down lump sums from their pensions.

He said: “This could be seen as their opportunity.

“With low savings rates, many will calculate that the higher yields achievable on rental property are worth investing in, so more money injected in to the property market.

“With a housing shortage and not enough new properties being built, converting property to buy to lets and HMOs will continue to thrive.”

He also brought up the state of the UK economy with its low interest rate environment and cheaper oil prices – which are fuelling consumer confidence.

Lastly he said the industry will keep a close eye on the general election, especially due to its impact on property taxation.

He added: “The recent Stamp Duty changes will greatly benefit the general property market and help buyers and movers.

“The Mansion tax may not happen at all now, as the higher end Stamp Duty almost amounts to the same thing, particularly in London.

“So with an election due on 7 May it all depends on the way the voting goes to see how tax may impact property further.

“It could also create a demand for high end property completions before the election.”