Annual bridging lending grows for third consecutive quarter

Annual bridging lending grew for the third consecutive quarter, to reach £4.3bn in June, the West One Bridging Index has shown.

The figures show there was a 4.2% yearly increase and is approaching 2016’s pre-EU referendum high of £4.4bn.

The latest figures from the ASTL show gross lending from all its members rose to £875m in June, which is a £100m from Q1.

Stephen Wasserman, Managing Director of West One, said: “It’s obviously very encouraging that the bridging sector is seeing its third consecutive quarter of annualised growth.

“The continued recovery only serves to underpin the resilience of the bridging market.

“At West One, we’ve seen a steady rise in demand for our bridging over the course of the last 9 months, and suspect this is due to more and more property professionals turning to alternative forms of finance.

“We expect that the bridging market will continue to this pattern of solid growth, in spite of an apparent slowdown in the housing market, as it takes up further slack in funding for property projects.”

An estimated 85% of bridging finance now goes to property professionals, indicating that bridging lenders are providing over £3.5bn of funding a year for property projects.

This data comes after the HMRC revealed that property transactions reached a nine month low in June, falling between May and June by 3.3%.

Danny Waters, chief executive of Enra Group, said: “Although we have seen a period of strong growth in the bridging sector, there are still challenges ahead.

“Whatever happens next, the industry needs to be ready with diverse and flexible financing options for property purchasers.

“The bridging sector has seen a fivefold growth in lending since 2011 and is well placed to take advantage of economic fluctuations, being able to adapt to changing needs as and when they emerge.”

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