Savills, a global real estate provider, stated that of the top 12 lenders for the U.K. property market this year, eight are German banks and only two are U.K. lenders.
Savills interviewed more than 100 global lenders, over 40 of which claim to have an appetite to lend to U.K. property, although on varying terms.
However, many organizations are lending strictly to existing customers only. In addition, the international property advisor found that in reality the scale of lending has changed dramatically over the past 18 months.
By comparison, in 2007 'big ticket' was £100 million ($138 million) plus, Savills reduced its definition in 2008 to £50 million plus. Today, only 12 lenders will consider deals above £25 million.
Banks are also taking longer to go through their approvals processes. Furthermore, secondary investment properties and development projects are in general unfinanceable, and those properties that will be considered are under more strict lending terms averaging 60% LTVs and higher margins of 200 basis points.
The 12 lenders in the 'big ticket' category are: Abbey, BLME, Deka Bank, Deutsche Postbank , D G Hyp, Helaba, Landesbank Berlin, LBBW (Stuttgart), Munich Hyp, Nationwide Building Society, Societe Generale and West Immo.
"I know of at least half a dozen other lenders who may also be on the list, but the level of actual loans committed is variable," said William Newsom, head of Savills U.K. valuation. "The U.K. is immensely attractive to lenders (and investors) due to a repricing of property and currency value changes. While many of the big banks are out of the market due to their exposure to toxic activities, and swathes of the property market are unfinanceable due to perceived insecure cash flows, for lenders with liquidity (of whom a large number do exist) there are good returns to be made from lending secured against good quality assets, and those lenders are taking advantage of the changed market situation."