Bridging now has a commercial focus

GARETH LEWIS, HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TIUTA
GARETH LEWIS, HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, TIUTA

Given Mortgage Strategy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, it seemed apt to look at the bridging sector’s recent past.

The bridging environment today is almost unrecognisable from 2001. Then the focus was on residential bridging and the limited opportunities in such a market.

But there has been a shift and now for many lenders the number of residential bridging deals completed is dwarfed by the loans to businesses, entrepreneurs and property developers.

The emphasis is on bridging as commercial lending rather than offering residential borrowers a way to fill a short-term finance gap.

This being the case, it was interesting to see The Guardian picking up on us being a top 30 lender once again. It suggested the public should be wary of taking out a bridging loan.

The fact that a huge part of our business is not in this market seemed to have been lost. Ten years is a long time in lending, but in bridging 10 months is a long time.

While it is important to make consumers aware of the risks and responsibilities of securing a bridging loan, fewer such deals occur. We have not moved back from the residential market but it is fair to say the market has moved back from us.

Given the lack of funding from mainstream banks, commercial lending is our main focus. It is important those covering the bridging sector are aware of the changes and the type of lending we carry out.