Business mortgage enquiries boom in more promising news for high street

Business mortgage enquiries in October more than doubled (132 per cent) on the same period last year, research finds.

Such commercial mortgage enquiries also increased substantially on the month, up by three quarters (75 per cent) compared to September 2016, according to data from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).

Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of all commercial mortgage enquiries in October – from the likes of high street retailers to restaurants and pubs – come from businesses based in London.

A rise in business mortgages is also likely to be influenced by rising commercial rents and lower interest rates, especially in the capital.

Applicants come from a range of businesses such as restaurants, bars and other consumer-facing enterprises, in what could be seen as a renewed vote of confidence for the high street.

Regionally, small businesses in London power the growth with nearly two thirds of enquiries (64 per cent) coming from the capital – more than six times the value of enquiries from the region with the second biggest appetite for finance, the Midlands (9 per cent).

This uplift in commercial mortgage enquiries follows the NACFB’s annual results from earlier this year, which revealed that £5.2 billion of commercial mortgage business was written in the year ending 30th June 2016, up by more than half (55 per cent) on the previous year, and the second strongest area of growth for NACFB’s members after bridging finance.

Paul Goodman, chairman of the NACFB says that appetite for commercial mortgage finance is a good indicator of small business confidence as it shows firms are confident enough to commit to the long term.

‘Last month we saw a huge uplift in enquiries from a variety of businesses – ranging from publicans and smaller retailers to hairdressers and restaurants – so it’s starting to feel like the SME community has got over any Brexit-related nerves,’ he adds.

‘While some of those businesses will also be looking to avoid steep commercial rents, especially in the capital, the confidence to take out a commercial mortgage bodes well for the future.’

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Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.