Annual bridging completions are now close to £3.8bn after rising by 29.9% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018, data from the Association of Short Term Lenders has found.
The value of loans written in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 32.5% compared to the same quarter last year.
Payam Azadi, director at Niche Advice, said: “It shows bridging is here to stay, is growing and will just continue to grow.
“Any brokers not within the sector should certainly be looking at it more closely and aligning themselves with experts within that market. A good place to start is speaking to some of the packagers and master brokers experts.”
Total loan books are continuing to climb, with a rise of 13.1% compared to Q4 2017. Compared to the end of Q1 2017, the value of loan books rose by 35.6%, to £4.2bn.
Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “Our figures highlight the fact that the bridging finance industry is in good shape and is ready and willing to meet the challenges and opportunities of today’s market.
“The bridging sector is now a well-established part of the property finance market and, barring any black swans, should continue to grow.”
The pace of increases in applications reversed recent declines and increased by 28.9% compared to a decrease of 11% in Q4 2017. On an annual basis, applications are up by 23.2%, making up a total of £19.7bn.
Although applications do tend to be unreliable indicators and are dependent on how many lenders are offered the same deals, this is still a staggeringly large figure.
These figures are taken from the responses from ASTL members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market.