Commercial remortgages provide cause for optimism Industry News 25th March 2013 | By Liberty Much has changed since the halcyon pre-credit crunch days. Where once there were a vast number of commercial mortgages available, since 2008, options for SMEs have been few and far between. During this time, a handful of high street lenders continued to offer loans which they kept on their own books, but with this came an increase in the amount of hoop-jumping businesses had to do to access these loans, as lenders were keen to protect their own deposits. However, at long last it seems there is some positive news to celebrate. In 2011 and 2012 there were a number of new entrants into the market, which brought with it an increase in the flow of commercial mortgages, which in turn has increased the hunger of many SMEs. The result of these new market entrants is an increasing number of SMEs turning to mortgage intermediaries to help them find a favourable deal. This in-turn has led the market for commercial mortgage brokers, which contracted between 2009 and 2011, to grow once more. A spokesman for a leading commercial mortgage broker, said: “The leisure industry continues to suffer from a lack of competition in the market, which consists mainly of nightclubs, gymnasiums, casinos, sports clubs and holiday parks. “Development finance can also be difficult to find with so many lenders concentrating on South-East England, and rates and terms in other areas often being set at 18 per cent per annum, with a percentage of the gross development value also taken.” There are still excellent deals to be had for SMEs operating in more mainstream sectors; however, the problem for SMEs is that lenders remain picky when agreeing customer loans. This situation is set to improve in 2013, as more lenders enter the market to take advantage of the high street’s reluctance to lend.