By James Bloom, Divisional Director, Alternative Bridging Corporation
11th March 2020
There are definite signs of a resurgence in the property market. Rightmove says the number of visits to its website surpassed 150 million for the first time in January, making it the busiest month ever recorded.
And these are not just casual browsers. Rightmove says that the number of sales being agreed by agents was up 12% compared to the same month in 2019. representing the biggest year-on-year jump in any month since July 2017.
The RICS Residential Survey, which was downbeat for much of 2019, was also positive at the beginning of 2020. It said that nearly a quarter of surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries in January and that respondents across all regions remain optimistic that sales volumes will continue to gain momentum over the next 12 months.
RICS added that, on the back of the stronger trends in market activity, house price pressures appear to be building. The headline price net balance moved up to +17% in January’s survey, compared to -2% in December, and surveyors anticipate prices to continue to increase across the UK during the course of the next year.
This sudden upturn in activity presents a window of opportunity for property developers and investors. The market is starting from a low base of transaction activity and relatively flat property price inflation. But this shift in momentum could make it harder, and more expensive for property professionals to secure their next asset, as buyers return to the market and competition for property increases. In this environment, the ability to move quickly is vital, and that means fast, and certain access to finance.
Fortunately, increased competition in the bridging market has driven increased innovation amongst lenders and there are now products that have been specially designed to help investors in situations like this.
For example, at Alternative Bridging, last year we launched the Alternative Overdraft, which is a flexible loan facility from £250,000 that can be drawn upon whenever required.
It avoids delays and set-up charges each time a loan is needed or paying interest when the facility is dormant. The loan term is up to 24 months and the maximum LTV is 70% for residential and commercial property. The Alternative Overdraft can be drawn, repaid and drawn again and again, and is available for auction and private treaty purchases, refurbishment and improvement and refinance, working capital and release of equity.
So, if you want a product that puts you in the driver’s seat in a fast-moving and competitive market, consider looking beyond traditional bridging products to something more innovative and better equipped to help you make the most of every opportunity.
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