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Bridgingwatch – Danny Waters – June 2012

Probably the biggest story of the past week or so has been Dragonfly Property Finance getting regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority, which opens up a whole new channel for the lender and puts it in an elite group of short-term finance providers that are FSA-regulated.

At the same time that it announced it had been authorised, Dragonfly said it will be selecting 10 key partners to oversee the rollout, which starts on August 1.

More on that next time once names have emerged.

Dragonfly also mentioned that it has got some new hires up its sleeve, so I am intrigued to find out about those too.

Congratulations to the Dragonfly team and I look forward to seeing the impact it has on the market in its regulated guise.
With its chief executive officer Jonathan Samuels stating that the lender is going to be putting its foot down on the pedal even harder in the months ahead, it is certainly game-on among the bigger lenders right now.

Thankfully, this can only be a good thing for brokers and their clients.

In other news, Tiuta, which has had an eventful year or two, has launched a large loan product range.
Having secured new backing through a London investment fund, it is now offering loans of between £1m and £25m on high-end developments in the capital and South-East, with rates starting from 8% a year.

With regard to growing competition in the industry, my feeling is that the short-term sector has gone about as low as it can in terms of rates.

I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see further movement or innovation in that area.

Instead, from now on I believe we will start seeing lenders pushing the boundaries of LTVs.

An example of a lender that is bullish on LTVs, especially in the golden postcode of prime central London, is Omni Capital, and my feeling is other lenders will start taking it on in this area.

Meanwhile, in its latest quarterly index, West One Loans announced that gross lending in the sector could reach £1.5bn by the end of this year. My view is that this is a bullish prediction and is overvaluing the size of the market.

But the lender says increased lending to residential property investors has been the main cause of the growth in the market.

Nobody will be surprised by this, given the well-known risk aversion of the high street banks.

Short-term lenders are stepping in where mainstream ones fear to tread.

West One chairman Duncan Kreeger hit the nail on the head when he commented recently that we are potentially seeing a shift in the way property investors are choosing to fund their projects.

These are exciting times indeed for the bridging industry.

Deal Makers

has provided funding for a £60m redevelopment of an entire crescent of Grade 1 listed houses in Bath.

has completed a £1m refinance package for a leading London boutique hotel, situated yards from Buckingham Palace.

says recent deals have taken just 48 hours from instructing solicitors to drawing down funds.




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