SPECIAL FEATURE: Bridging the recovery

Seven years ago the United Kingdom experienced its share of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

National governments were powerless in preventing the collapse of global banks and financial institutions as the emergency bailouts failed to stop the stock markets from losing all but a fraction of their previous value. The consequences of such a sudden and harsh shift in the economic climate resulted in evictions, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment for the masses.

But that is now all over, at least according to the world’s elite financial experts.

Though there is no official declaration or formal survey to give foundation to these claims, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has concluded that the financial crisis is done, and industry expects are keen to confirm this.

Joe Grice, the chief economist for the Office for National Statistics, has stated that “although the economy remains buoyant and erratic, there is a crystallisation of thought that the financial crisis is over.”

So how has the United Kingdom pulled itself back into a position of economic growth?

Certainly the property market is a main factor in a now surprisingly steady and consistent recovery period. This has only been boosted further by international investment and development in some of the country’s most exclusive areas.

Foreign investment has now reached £15bn as it becomes the most attractive destination in Europe due to government plans to make it “easier than ever” to invest in the UK, according to Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury. Calling it a “win-win” situation, it was predicted that nearly 1,800 separate property projects funded by overseas investors in 2014 created over 67,000 jobs, according to a report from UK Trade & Investment.

But amongst all of the headlines and six figure price tags being thrown around, it is the short-term bridging lenders that are making it all possible.

In the North West alone bridging finance companies and short-term lenders such as Mayfair Bridging have reported completing numerous multi-million pound deals on behalf of foreign investors. The Preston based company have this week alone announced a £4.5m lend for a purchase and refurbishment of a property located in the heart of the exclusive Chelsea borough of the capital.

Despite the success of this newly tapped into industry, however, there remains controversy. In the areas of investment existing residents are facing the prospect of higher house prices due to the property revival in the surrounding areas. It is claimed that Londoners more so than anyone else are facing the prospect of being out priced as newer and more desirable properties are build and developed.

However, it could also be argued that foreign investment is providing a thriving export business for the country. Though not a physical entity, such as the manufacturing factories of old, short-term lenders such as Mayfair Bridging are making a visible positive contribution to the recovery of the economy.

Like it or not, the UK property market is open for business on a global scale. A thriving success, it looks to be here to stay.