Brokers say ‘speed to completion’ is borrowers’ main priority when arranging short term finance

44% of brokers responding to United Trust Bank’s most recent Broker Sentiment Poll believe that ‘speed to completion’ is currently the main priority for bridging borrowers. Less than half that number (19%) said that securing the lowest rate was most important, only slightly ahead of ‘certainty of funding’. Speed of initial decision was rated most important by just 4% of respondents.

In your view, what is the main priority for borrowers seeking short-term funding at present? 

Speed to completion 44%
Lowest rate 19%
Certainty of funding 18%
Maximum gearing 13%
Speed of initial decision 4%
Other 2%

The poll of over 100 commercial brokers also asked in which sectors they were experiencing most demand for short term finance. Between them, property development, refurbishment and conversion took the top two places with residential investment purchases the third most common use for bridging. Refinancing of existing bridging loans was fourth.

In which of the following sectors are you seeing the most demand for short-term funding? 

Property Development 1
Property refurbishment and conversion 2
Residential investment purchases 3
Refinance of existing bridge 4
HMO acquisition and/or refurbishment 5
Sales Period Funding post development 6
Refinance of existing long-term debt =7
Residential purchases by owner occupiers =7
Release of equity from existing portfolio =7

 Gavin Diamond, Commercial Director – Bridging, United Trust Bank commented:

“It’s interesting that although a majority of brokers indicated that a quick completion is the most important factor for borrowers when placing a deal, in reality UTB are often the party waiting for the customer to trigger the drawdown of the loan. Lately we’ve noticed that the time between initial proposal and drawdown is now greater than it has been for a long time, and it’s the customers who are setting the slower pace, not the lender.

“The fact that the speed of the initial decision ranked near the bottom of the list of borrower priorities also contradicts our experience. In most instances the broker and the borrower want a quick decision and the assurance of an offer letter to enable the clients to move on with confidence. After that, the request for funding is often delayed.

“We’ve enjoyed a busy first half to 2019 with demand for bridging increasing across all regions and in most sectors. Despite political and economic uncertainty, there are still many developers using short term lending to seize opportunities and fund projects. Competitive pricing and the inherent versatility of the product make it an excellent choice for those who need quick and flexible funding solutions.

“UTB’s recent bridging product enhancements meet the demands of the market for speedy completions. Extended use of AVMs, the introduction of dual legal representation combined with slick and consistent underwriting are helping to save UTB customers time and money, the two most important elements to a deal according to most brokers. We will continue to enhance and improve our products and service to ensure that UTB delivers what brokers and their customers need.”