ASTL member lending tops £3 billion

The value of bridging loans written by members of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) has exceeded £3 billion for the first time.

The figures for Q2 2017 are compiled by the ASTL’s auditors from its bridging lender members and are up from £2.8 billion for the year ended 31 June 2016.

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The quarter saw record highs for loans written of £875 million while applications received totalled £4.9 billion. Total loan books have bounced back, with a rise of 5.8% compared to 31 March and 10.6% up on 30 June 2016, but the ASTL says the pattern remains erratic.

The value of loans written increased 12.1% on Q1 2017 and up 17.8% on Q1 2016. Annual growth in loans written, comparing the year ending June 2017 to June 2016, showed a more modest 6.7% growth.

The pace of increase in applications has increased by 39.6% compared to the same quarter a year ago, while the figures for the year ending June 2017 show an even greater increase of 56.6% compared to year ended June 2016. Only the quarter-on-quarter application figures showed a minimal increase.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL, said: “The increase in positivity shown by members in a recent sentiment survey seems to be reflected in the latest figures. It remains to be seen how the ebb
and flow of Brexit negotiations will affect the sector, but the market remains good for the time being.

“Barring unexpected jolts to the economy, I expect a period of consolidation ahead, especially with the increasing likelihood of interest rate rises.”