The results of the latest data survey of ASTL members have just been released.  These show a fall in the value of bridging loans written last quarter although the total amount written during the year has continued to rise significantly in what has been a volatile year for the sector.

The value of loans written in quarter three ending 30th September has decreased by 4% compared to Q3 last year; and is down by 17.4% compared to the quarter ending 30th June.  In what has been something of a rollercoaster ride, the value of loans written has alternatively risen and then dropped for the last four quarters. 

The positive is that the total value of loans written by all ASTL members for the year ended 30th September, is up significantly, by 15% compared to the year ending September 2015. This bodes well for 2016 as a whole where bridging figures are concerned, although the figures are unlikely to outstrip last year in the way that some people predicted.

The value of applications also declined quarter on quarter, but this is a highly volatile number and follows an unrepresentative increase of 61.5% last quarter.  Application figures tend to be prone to large swings as borrowers shop around, submitting applications to more than one lender, so the application figure of £3.3billion in the quarter will exceed by many times, the value of loans that are likely to complete in Q4 and so are not hugely indicative of completions.

Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL says, “This was the first full quarter after the referendum.     Brexit blues, increased stamp duties and impending tax changes all seem to have had an effect.   My doubts regarding the record level of applications in the June quarter being reflected in completions in the September quarter proved correct and I predict the same for the forthcoming quarter.

“Bridging figures have been on something of a rollercoaster ride over the past year, having alternatively risen and then dropped, however the size of the total loan book is still well up on the previous year.  

“Anecdotal feedback from members in respect of Q4 remains positive, but whilst many are positive about their firm’s performance, the market is definitely becoming showing signs of becoming more difficult.  I therefore think that we will end the year well up on last year’s total of £2.4 billion loans written, but we are unlikely to make the £3billion that many were predicting last year.”

Press release 24.11.16