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Brokers are confident about the state of business and the wider economy in 2018, two pieces of research indicate.

Bridging lender mtf found that 68% of brokers believe overall market conditions will improve in 2018, compared to 31% in the same period the year before.

Meanwhile Shawbrook Bank found that 78% of brokers are fairly or very confident about the lending environment as a whole and 69% are fairly or very confident about their business growth

Furthermore, about half (49%) are about the UK economy post Brexit.

James Anderson, head of new business at mtf, said: “After the challenges faced in 2017, it is encouraging to see that brokers’ confidence is strong as we enter the New Year.

“I’m delighted that brokers see the demand for a growth in bridging finance in 2018 and the reasons are simple.

“Bridging loans provide a real-time solution to the funding gap that has developed as high street lenders come to terms with increased regulation. We can continue to expect to see a substantial rise in the demand for bridging finance throughout the rest of the year.”

The brokers surveyed said macroeconomic uncertainty will be the main challenge for UK financial services firms in 2018, while 28% cited the impact of Brexit negotiations, mtf research shows.

Some 13% said the level of market competition would be the biggest challenge. Only 6% of brokers thought regulation would prove a challenge.

Most (84%) brokers are preparing for a further rise in bridging finance volume in 2018, after 73% of those questioned reported an actual rise in bridging loan volumes in 2017.

However Shawbrook found brokers see lending restrictions, regulatory change and valuation issues as the biggest challenges their businesses.

Some 61% of brokers surveyed believe that their portfolio landlord clients are aware of the PRA rule changes but do not understand all the changes.

They said the knock on effect of the PRA/FCA regulations was likely to be the biggest issue facing their clients in 2018.

In addition, 59% of brokers surveyed believe that their HMO landlord clients are not aware of new licensing laws that may come into effect next Spring.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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