A survey conducted by United Trust Bank (UTB) has found that 69% of development finance brokers anticipate greater demand in the year ahead, while 27% expect demand to stay roughly the same.
The same survey found that 63% of asset, development, bridging and mortgage brokers believed that the government was not doing enough to tackle the UK’s housing shortage.
Noel Meredith, executive director at UTB (pictured above), said: “Based on our own start to the year, I’d have to agree with a majority of development finance brokers that there’s no shortage of demand for funding for new housing projects.
“There continues to be a strong desire from SME housebuilders to play a vital role in delivering the new homes the UK desperately needs.
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“Although developers must keep a tight rein on rising costs for materials and labour, those presenting sound proposals to build the homes people want and can afford to buy will find lenders like UTB happy to provide the funding.”
Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents viewed the outlook for their own business over the coming years as “bright”.
Despite this optimism, just 14% of brokers were confident that the government would overcome the housing shortage by 2020.
Noel added: “Although some of the recommendations in the recent housing white paper offer some hope of improvement to the dysfunctional planning process, any significant change will probably come too late to meet the ambitious ‘one million new homes by 2020’ target the government set itself in 2015.
“Planning remains the biggest headache for most of the developers we deal with and unless the very first stage of the development process can be simplified and developers encouraged to build on suitable sites rather than discouraged, demand for new homes in the places people want to live will continue to outstrip supply.”