Benson Hersch

Bridging applications increase by 123%

The Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) has announced that its members saw a 123% surge in bridging applications in Q1 2017 compared with Q1 2016.

Bridging lender members revealed that the value of applications for loans increased by 13.9% in Q1 2017 from the figure recorded in Q4 2016. 

The amount of loans written in Q1 2017 were 11.4% higher than in Q1 2016, while the size of the overall loan book was up 45% compared with March 2016. 

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL (pictured above), said that the rise comes despite recent uncertainties and showed that there was a renewed confidence among investors and homebuyers.

“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.”

The overall size of the loan book for Q1 2017 was down 5.7% compared with Q4 2016. 

“…Although lending for the year ended 31st March 2016 still falls shy of the elusive £3bn figure, as I expected, the number of applications were higher in Q1 of this year than in any previous quarter,” Benson added. 

“It is very likely that the build up to the general election in June will have an effect, but in light of our recent sentiment survey in March, most lender members are increasingly positive about the outlook for 2017.”

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