Around half of our loan book consists of bridging loans. These are temporary loans lasting three to six months, secured on a property or other valuable asset. They are called bridging loans as they bridge a timing gap between a client needing the money and being able to sell an asset to release the funds or arrange long term finance.
We think that the demand for bridging finance is likely to continue because an uncertain financial climate makes it difficult to synchronise the move from one asset to another. The November survey of the Association of Short Term Lenders shows nearly three quarters (72%) of bridging lenders expect their business to grow over the next 6 months, compared to just 59% when the survey was last conducted in June.
The other half of our loan book is made up of loans to small building companies and property developers. They have turned to specialist lenders like Bricks as we can respond swiftly and with a high degree of flexibility, allowing them to complete purchases and get projects underway.
Since we began lending in 2015 we have financed the build or renovation of well over 200 properties across the South West. The fundamentals underpinning the UK property market remain good.