The number of bridging loans written in the last quarter continued to increase albeit at a slower rate then it did last year, Association of Short Term Lenders figures have revealed.
ASTL members wrote £2.7bn of bridging loans in the year ended 31 March 2016 and is on target to exceed this figure again over the coming year. This represents a 16% year-on-year increase
of 16% compared to the year ended 31 March 2015. The value of applications year on year also increased, by 20%, although the value of the loan book dipped slightly, by 4% year on year, indicating that loans are being paid off at a higher rate than they were previously.
The value of loans written in the quarter ending March 2016 reduced by 9% over December’s quarter, whereas they reduced by 19% December 2014 to March in 2015. The first quarter of the year is always quieter than the year end so this is expected to bounce back in quarter two.
Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “Bridging finance continues to power forward and is now an established niche product. Members are positive about their business prospects, even if slightly less positive about the economy as a whole. Figures on the economy released last week do cause me to sound a note of caution however and there remains some concern, due to the uncertainty about the results of the June referendum, which may yet have an unknown effect on the market.
“As applications begin to pick up over the next quarter, despite some negative factors, the need for bridging finance is likely to continue to grow and our members are well placed to take advantage of opportunities.”
These figures are taken from the responses from the ASTL’s members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market. These figures are not seasonally adjusted.