The COVID-19 pandemic removed much of the shine from the UK’s once incredibly prosperous commercial property market. As retailers closed their doors and the masses were forced to work from home, there was little to no opportunity to make good money in commercial property investments.
Today, the sector is beginning to show slow but steady signs of a gradual return to normality. According to the latest figures released by Knowledge Bank, broker searches for commercial property bridging loan products have spiked to a four-month high.
Bridging finance is a popular facility for investors looking to purchase, renovate and repurpose commercial properties in order to be sold or let out to generate profits. With the UK’s collective workforce now headed back to the office, demand for quality commercial space in key corners of the country is on the up.
Top Search Terms for March
Broker searches for ‘commercial property’ returned to the top-five rankings within the bridging sector in February for the first time in four months. ‘Regulated bridging’ continued to hold strong at the top of the table – its fourth consecutive month as the top search term.
‘Minimum loan amount’ and ‘maximum LTV’ also featured in the top five listings, while searches for ‘semi-commercial properties’ spiked in the commercial sector.
Meanwhile, ‘first-time landlord’ and ‘first-time buyer’ rose to prominence in the buy-to-let arena, as more newcomers set their sights on potentially profitable BTL investments.
Though once again, the top search term within the BTL arena was ‘lending to limited companies’ – a popular approach to BTL investments that can maximise tax efficiency.
Another Strong Year for the Bridging Sector
Speaking on behalf of Knowledge Bank, operations director Matthew Corker spoke with confidence about the sector’s immediate outlook.
“Interest in bridging loans grew significantly in 2021, and the start of 2022 has seen attention in commercial property bridging loans increasing,”
“These may be for buying commercial units, similarly to a residential bridge, when a chain breaks, or for refurbishments then either selling or refinancing onto a conventional commercial mortgage,”
“The lending landscape has been evolving rapidly recently — the BTL market in particular has been volatile, and with the Bank of England increasing base rate, lenders will certainly continue to adapt,”
“With this trend certain to continue, brokers need to ensure they are using a criteria search system, so they stay up-to-date with all the latest changes.”
In the residential arena, the popularity of bridging loans among home buyers looking to relocate is also at an all-time high.
The average market value of a home in the UK has increased by around £40,000 since COVID-19 landed – exponentially more than the average £9,000 increase over the two years prior to the pandemic.
Demand for affordable homes continues to outstrip supply by a country mile in all key areas of the UK. Bridging finance has become a particularly popular option, effectively turning eligible applicants into cash buyers. With a bridging loan, it is possible to escape traditional property chains entirely, completing transactions in days, rather than weeks or months.
Craig Upton supports UK businesses by increasing sales growth using various revenue streams online. Creating strategic partnerships and keen focus to detail, Craig equips websites with the right tools to increase traffic. Craig is also the CEO of iCONQUER, a UK based SEO Firm and has been working in the digital marketing arena for over a decade. A trusted SEO consultant and trainer, Craig has worked with British brands such as FT.com, DJKit, UK Property Finance, Serimax and also supported UK doctors, solicitors, builders, jewellers, to mention a few, gain more exposure online. Craig has gained a wealth of knowledge within the digital marketing space and is committed to creating new opportunities working with UK companies.