OpinionNov 12 2015

Bridging the gap

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I was surprised to see a news article in these pages (FA, 22 October) relating to the launch of our new online investor platform accompanied by a quote from a financial planner dismissing the potential of alternative investments.

Investing in bridging is not growing in popularity without reason, as it allows investors to make returns with limited exposure based on the property’s valuation. In addition, it is less volatile than alternative investments like gold, art and fine wine and has historically offered better returns, too. The West One Bridging Index regularly compares the monthly returns available from bridging with those from 10-year government bonds. The spread (in favour of bridging) has only occasionally dipped below 1 per cent on a monthly basis.

With gross bridging lending currently growing by almost a third every year, the sector has plenty of runway. Factor in the sizeable housebuilding targets the government has to meet to stem the shortage of supply and the fact that short-term finance often plays a key role in both helping developers secure plots and refurbishing and reintroducing properties into the nation’s stock – and there is every reason to believe that investing in bridging is a solid bet.

Our investors are excited about the launch of this new platform and the ability to see their portfolio and its history in more detail is a valuable tool. Combine that with the bridging market’s performance and we are confident that this one wealth manager’s opinion will represent the minority voice.

Duncan Kreeger

Managing director

West One Loans