Brokers predict H2 2016 rate rise

Nearly two in five (38%) brokers expected a rate rise in the second half of 2016, compared to nearly a quarter (23%) who thought it would increase in the first half. Just 8% expected a rate rise in 2015.

A number of brokers predicted an even later rate rise, as 18% predicted a rise in the first half of 2017, 8% went for the second half of 2017 and 5% expected a rise in 2018 or later.

More than four in five (83%) brokers were positive about the outlook for business in April, as 38% said they were very optimistic and 45% said it could be a good year.

Harley Kagan, managing director at United Trust Bank, said: “At the start of the year there was some speculation about what effect the general election might have on business and the property market, with some suggesting it may create a lull in activity until it was clearer how the UK would be governed in the future.

“Whilst the possibility of a mansion tax may have contributed to a slightly lower demand for higher value properties in the early part of the year, it’s clear from our own experience, and that of the brokers who took part in this survey, that the election had little or no effect on business levels and that the vast majority of brokers were once again feeling optimistic about their prospects for 2015."

He added: “In an environment of low interest rates and low inflation and with a government committed to supporting business and home ownership, the next few years should present great opportunities for SMEs, developers and brokers.”