Lending to the property sector is showing signs of recovery as the long-term decline in bank finance begins to slow, says commercial law firm EMW.
In a report today, EMW says bank lending to investors in the property sector has levelled out over the past year, down just one per cent from £136.2bn in July 2014 to £134.7bn. EMW says this raises hopes that lending to the sector may soon rebound after a 15 per cent drop in the previous 12 months, from £159.3bn in July 2013.
It said that although banks remain cautious, the slowdown in the decline suggests that a risk-off approach to lending to property investors is almost at an end, helped in part by the number of write-offs of bad debt falling by almost half to £23.2bn last year from £44.7bn in 2013.
Minal Thakarar, principal at EMW, explains: “The banks’ appetite to lend to property investors is at its highest level since the financial crisis. For the first time since the financial crisis, the decline in the amount of lending to property investors has tailed off – investors are now more optimistic about seeking funding from the banks.”