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Buy-to-let lending through specialist business finance brokers is up 66% in 2010 – but is still way behind the billions borrowed at the height of the property boom.
Commercial finance brokers arranged buy-to-let loans totalling £0.718 billion in the year – up from £0.476 billion last year.
This is still way down on the £3.92 billion borrowed to fund buy-to-let in 2007-08 and £9.52 billion in 2006-7.
The figures come from the latest survey of members by the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).
Other commercial lending trends revealed by the survey showed:
“We have continued to see the small business community struggling to raise funding and being faced with increased costs. Our latest figures reveal the true position of both excellent and vulnerable businesses across the whole of the UK,” said Adam Tyler, the NACFB chief executive.
“Despite many lenders’ protestations that they are lending more than ever, these figures reveal what anecdotal evidence has already shown: that funding for businesses is still very hard to access. While we are pleased to report an increase in lending over the last twelve months, this has come from a small base compared to previous years.
“Around 90% of small businesses bank with the four main high street banks; but when it comes to borrowing SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) should not be restricted to these lenders. NACFB members have access to over 50 different providers for their clients.
“Businesses do want to borrow; they do want to grow. A recent survey of SMEs showed that only 16% had applied to their banks for borrowing, of which one third were rejected.
“These businesses need to feel confident when they are considering borrowing, as many are falling at the first hurdle and not even making it in to the current statistics. Recent feedback from across the membership has indicated that whilst we saw a criteria ease in the early part of the year, this has tightened up once again.”
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