In the first quarter of 2017, ASTL members saw the value of applications for bridging loans increase by 13.9%, compared with the previous quarter.
Values were 123% higher than the same quarter in 2016. However, the amount of loans actually written is 11.4% higher than Q1 2016 – as the figures reflect brokers shopping around.
The size of the overall loan book was up 45% on March 2016, although it was down 5.7% at the end of Q1 this year, compared to the end of the previous quarter.
ASTL chief executive Benson Hersch (pictured) said the figures show renewed confidence among buyers. “Despite recent uncertainties, including Brexit and the triggering of Article 50, applications are on the rise, suggesting that there is a renewed confidence among investors and homebuyers alike.
“However, there is still a clear disparity between applications and completions, reflecting increased competition as brokers shop around. Of course, not all applications reach completion for various reasons and the recently reported increased completion times are also having an effect.”
Annual lending in the bridging sector still falls short of what Hersch termed “the elusive £3bn figure”. Despite this, and the upcoming general election, he added that members are “increasingly positive about the outlook for 2017”.