January can often be a quiet month as people recover from their festive overindulgence, catch up on work and pledge to detox for the rest of the month.
We’ve not had much chance to ease ourselves into the year as interest in our £30m tranche of funding unveiled in December remains keen. And as long as mainstream lenders remain reluctant to lend to borrower types with anything less than vanilla needs, we expect business levels to stay strong.
Bridging has been heralded as a success story of 2011 and while some might expect it to slow down in the next 12 months, I believe this is unlikely.
I anticipate a rise in lender entrants this year, probably followed by a number of them realising they do not have the appetite to lend in this sector but are merely using it as a stepping stone into regulated lending, or that they do not have the expertise or funding to cut it in bridging.
At various points last year, it may have appeared that any Tom, Dick and Harry could set themselves up as a bridging lender and turn a profit.
The reality is different. No doubt bridging is an exciting sector to be in but it requires more than a passing acquaintance with the market to be a success.
A number of new entrants will no doubt find this out as they attempt to make their mark.
One way or another, this will be a sector worth watching in the months ahead.