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Bridging completions rise by nearly 30%

Annual bridging completions are now close to £3.8bn after rising by 29.9% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018, data from the Association of Short Term Lenders has found.

The value of loans written in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 32.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Payam Azadi, director at Niche Advice, said: “It shows bridging is here to stay, is growing and will just continue to grow.

“Any brokers not within the sector should certainly be looking at it more closely and aligning themselves with experts within that market. A good place to start is speaking to some of the packagers and master brokers experts.”

Total loan books are continuing to climb, with a rise of 13.1% compared to Q4 2017. Compared to the end of Q1 2017, the value of loan books rose by 35.6%, to £4.2bn.

Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “Our figures highlight the fact that the bridging finance industry is in good shape and is ready and willing to meet the challenges and opportunities of today’s market.

“The bridging sector is now a well-established part of the property finance market and, barring any black swans, should continue to grow.”

The pace of increases in applications reversed recent declines and increased by 28.9% compared to a decrease of 11% in Q4 2017. On an annual basis, applications are up by 23.2%, making up a total of £19.7bn.

Although applications do tend to be unreliable indicators and are dependent on how many lenders are offered the same deals, this is still a staggeringly large figure.

These figures are taken from the responses from ASTL members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Bridging lenders are positive about the future

ASTL found the majority (78%) of members expect their business turnover to grow, with two thirds (63%) expecting the same of the bridging finance sector as a whole. Members are also very positive about the prospects of providing short term finance to SME housebuilders, with 93% believing this is a growth area.

However, members are slightly less optimistic about the long-term future prospects of the UK economy, with positivity decreasing from 50% in December 2017 to 43% this month. Just over half (52%) of members are unsure, and 11% feel negatively about the economy. This is likely due to the protracted nature of the Brexit negotiations combined with the rise in inflation, which in turn is likely to lead to higher interest rates.

ASTL members are split about the direction of property prices, with 52% expecting slight growth and 48% expecting prices to fall. They are lukewarm about the potential impact of the Spring Statement, with 48% neutral and 19% negative.

ASTL CEO Benson Hersch said: “Whilst I remain cautious about future prospects for the UK in a very uncertain world, in which the economic climate can change overnight, members are confident that they will continue to prosper. The use of bridging as a financial tool, both for property transactions and for other business purposes is now well-established.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Bridging lending crashes through the £3bn mark

Annual bridging lending completions rose by 24.6% to over £3.5bn in 2017, ASTL figures show.

Bridging completions for ASTL members in the fourth quarter of 2017 exceeded £1bn, an increase of 31.7%.

Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL said: “Our figures highlight that, despite ongoing concerns relating to Brexit and the property sector, the bridging finance industry remains in good shape and is ready and willing to meet the challenges that 2018 may bring.

“The bridging sector continues to provide a vital role in the economy by offering customers access to the capital they need in a responsible and sustainable way.   It continues to be an important part of the alternative finance market.”

The size of members’ loan books is also healthy. Total loan books are continuing to climb, with a rise of 4.6% compared to Q3 2017. Compared to the end of Q4 2016, the value of loan books has risen by 12.9%, to £3.7bn.

These figures are taken from the responses from ASTL members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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ASTL members up lending by 39% year-on-year

Association of Short Term Lenders firms (ASTL) increased the value of bridging lending by 38.9% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter in 2016.

However lending saw a small fall of 2.7% from the second quarter of this year.

Benson Hersch (pictured), chief executive of the ASTL, said: “The figures from our members show that the bridging finance industry is in excellent shape.

“It shows that the industry has remained resilient despite the threat of Brexit and low growth in the economy.

“The figures also demonstrate that bridging loans remain an excellent alternative where traditional financing is not immediately available for customers.

“The bridging sector therefore continues to provide a vital role in the economy by offering customers access to the capital they need in a responsible and sustainable way.”

The value of their loan books stand at £3.5bn after rising by 27.7% from the end of Q3 2016 to Q3 2017.

Source: Mortgage Introducer