Bridging completions fell almost 30% in 2020
Bridging completions were £2.88bn in 2020, down 27.9% from £3.99bn in 2019, according to the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL).
Bridging loan books dropped to £4.48bn, a decrease of 2.5% on the previous year; however, the value of applications in 2020 increased to £25.82bn which is up from £23.19bn in 2019, representing an 11% rise.
According to the ASTL, the surge in applications in Q3 last year was accountable for the 34.9% increase in completions in Q4, totalling £918m of completions.
Applications in Q4 2020 were at £6.69bn, a quarterly decrease of 12.7%, however they were still up by 22.9% on the same quarter in 2019.
Meanwhile, average loan-to-values (LTVs) fell slightly in Q4 and have now dropped to below 59%.
The value of loans in default in Q4 2020 increased by 13.9% on Q3, and was 23.8% higher than Q4 2019.
Vic Jannels, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “The Q4 lending figures give us an opportunity to review the performance of 2020 as a whole.
“Completions were down on the previous year, which is to be expected given the periods of national lockdown.
“However, applications were actually higher than in 2019, which reflects the enormous potential the bridging market has to provide customers with a funding solution through these difficult times.
“We must, however, remain cautious.
“The effects of economic slowdown are starting to be reflected by the value of loans in default and, while the roll out of the vaccine for COVID-19 continues at pace, a return to normal levels of economic activity seems unlikely before the summer, so these trends may persist for several months.”