The Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) confirmed that completions in Q4 2019 reached £1.1bn, which represented an increase of 13.7% on Q3.
However, applications in Q4 2019 fell by 10.7% on the record-breaking previous quarter, while average LTVs continued to remain below 60%.
The ASTL also found that the value of loans in default rose by 13.2% on Q3 2019.
Vic Jannels, CEO at the ASTL (pictured above), said: “The value of outstanding bridging loan books jumped significantly last year driven by both an increase in new business and a trend for borrowers to take bridging finance over longer terms.
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“We did see a fall in applications in the final quarter of 2019 compared to the record-breaking Q3, but in the context of both a December general election and Christmas, this is perhaps unsurprising.
“There is, however, reason to be cautious.
“The value of loans in default has continued to rise, and there is some evidence that repossessions are also increasing, so it is important that lenders maintain responsible underwriting and collections practices alongside their appetite to continue to grow their lending.”