ASTL: Bridging loan books up 20%

Bridging loan books grew by £4.5bn, representing a 20% increase in 2019, according to the Association of Short-Term Lenders.

This is up on the 19.7% rise recorded in 2018.

Figures compiled by auditors from data provided by members of the ASTL show that completions in Q4 2019 reached £1.068bn, an increase of 13.7% on Q3.

The data collected by the association also shows that the value of loans in default grew by 13.2% on Q3 2019.

Meanwhile, the average LTV remained below 60% and applications dropped by 10.7% over the same time frame.

Vic Jannels, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “The value of outstanding bridging loan books jumped significantly last year driven by both an increase in new business and a trend for borrowers to take bridging finance over longer terms.

“We did see a fall in applications in the final quarter of 2019 compared to the record breaking Q3, but in the context of both a December General Election and Christmas, this is perhaps unsurprising.

“There is, however, reason to be cautious. The value of loans in default has continued to rise, and there is some evidence that repossessions are also increasing, so it is important that lenders maintain responsible underwriting and collections practices alongside their appetite to continue to grow their lending.”

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