Development finance applications are on the rise but the size of loans is falling, says specialist packager Thistle Finance.
The Edinburgh-based firm has seen a 9% fall in the average size of development finance loan applications during the second quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter.
But the number of applications it received between April and June was up 15% on the first three months of the year.
Thistle Finance says this reflects not just increased development activity but the growing number of SME firms entering the market and taking on smaller projects.
Analysis of its second quarter data revealed a shift in activity levels away from London and the South East. Between April and June, applications for development projects outside London and the South East rose by 18%, with the South West and North West particularly active.
Mark Dyason, managing director of Thistle Finance, commented: “It’s happening slowly but we’re seeing a fundamental shift in the development sector.
“A long tail of smaller developers is emerging and gradually increasing its market share, empowered by the proliferation of specialist lenders offering better rates.
“The supply deficit represents a major commercial opportunity and regional start-up and SME developers, with lower level schemes, are highly active.
“The new wave of developers is increasingly aware that consumer demand is moving away from undifferentiated developments to more bespoke projects that better reflect the character of the areas they are in. The monopoly of the major developers is gradually being eroded.”
Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette