Demand for bridging loans soared in the last quarter of 2016.  Figures compiled by the ASTL from its bridging lender members defied expectations with the value of bridging loans written increasing 26% in the final quarter of the year compared to the quarter ending September 2016.


Looking at the year as a whole, the growth was more modest with the value of loans written 9.4% higher in 2016 than they were in 2015.  Lending in the year still fell shy of the elusive £3billion, finishing the year at £2.83billion, up from £2.59billion last year; although the overall loan book at the end of 2016 increased by 29.7% compared to the end of 2016 to reach £3.3billion.


The value of applications increased 27.5% quarter on quarter, compared to a fall of 5% the previous quarter and a fall of 14% quarter on quarter in Q4 2015.  The improvement in Q4 2016 translates in to a massive increase of 71% compared to Q4 2015.


The disparity between applications and completions became clear however, as while applications for the year increased 34% over 2015, the value of loans written increased by just 9.4%.  This not only indicates that not all applications reach completion, but also that brokers tend to submit applications several lenders at a time.


Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL, says, “After a dip in volumes almost across the board in Q3 last year following the referendum, the size of the increase both in the quarter and across the year has overshot even my most optimistic expectations. I do expect volumes to rise again in the first quarter of this year, however I expect the percentage increase to be lower compared to Q4, as this quarter’s figures very much contrast with the Brexit blues that affected people looking for bridging loans between July and September last year.


“While lending by ASTL members didn’t quite hit £3billion, there are a number of bridging loans that fall under the radar, made by lenders that many people do not know exist, as well as those lenders who are not members, so the actual size of the bridging market is far larger.”


ASTL Press Release February 2017