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ASTL found the majority (78%) of members expect their business turnover to grow, with two thirds (63%) expecting the same of the bridging finance sector as a whole. Members are also very positive about the prospects of providing short term finance to SME housebuilders, with 93% believing this is a growth area.

However, members are slightly less optimistic about the long-term future prospects of the UK economy, with positivity decreasing from 50% in December 2017 to 43% this month. Just over half (52%) of members are unsure, and 11% feel negatively about the economy. This is likely due to the protracted nature of the Brexit negotiations combined with the rise in inflation, which in turn is likely to lead to higher interest rates.

ASTL members are split about the direction of property prices, with 52% expecting slight growth and 48% expecting prices to fall. They are lukewarm about the potential impact of the Spring Statement, with 48% neutral and 19% negative.

ASTL CEO Benson Hersch said: “Whilst I remain cautious about future prospects for the UK in a very uncertain world, in which the economic climate can change overnight, members are confident that they will continue to prosper. The use of bridging as a financial tool, both for property transactions and for other business purposes is now well-established.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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