A £20 million funding initiative aimed at supporting a generation of first and second-time property investors has been launched by Market Financial Solutions (MFS).

The drive runs until June 2018 and invites applications for bridging loans, ranging from £100,000 to £1 million, for refurbishment and restoration projects, to tap into the 1.4m empty homes across the UK.

As Britain gears up for the General Election and the start of Brexit negotiations, MFS says its property investment drive ‘aims to offer investors the fast access to capital necessary to support their short-term investment plans.’

MFS CEO Paresh Raja, said: “In the face of seismic political events this year, the robust strength of the UK property market has certainly proved its resilience.

“For the sector to continue this impressive growth, support must be channelled to the aspirational investors who will lead this growth forward, a vital objective we are directly addressing through this initiative.

“There is tremendous value locked in a variety of properties across the nation; without the finance options in place to access them, this part of the property market will remain dormant.

“To support the refurbishment and restoration projects that are essential to catalyse further movement across the sector, MFS has launched FlipFinance2017 and is very excited to see the results build into fruition.”

Market demand for property is expected to remain strong, and a recent survey of property owners revealed that 88 per cent expect house prices to rise over the course of the next six months.

However, many would-be property investors, landlords and homeowners encounter problems in accessing finance from traditional lending institutions, curbing their investment strategies.

According to the latest Bank of England data, a total of 66,837 mortgages were approved for house buys in March, down 1.6 per cent on the previous month.

The number of loans approved for those re-mortgaging also fell for the first time this year to 42,814; meanwhile, the UK’s bridging lending sector grew to £2.83 billion in 2016.