Bridging loan volume soars in Q1

Michael Lloyd

May 4, 2018

Bridging lending reached £154.02m in Q1 2018, up almost a third compared to £118.79m for the same period last year, Bridging Trends data found.

This is the highest volume recorded since Bridging Trends launched in 2015, almost doubling £80.47m of lending during Q1 2015. Prior to Q1 2018, volume peaked at £150.07m during the second quarter of 2017.

Alan Dring, consultant at Hope Capital, said: “It’s a healthy trend that’s continuing, is good to hear and is encouraging for rest of the year. The first quarter was frustrated by bad weather but the confidence is still there and these figures are a good relfection of a confident, active sector.

“However service levels for bigger lenders are being jeopardised by appetites for more business at higher LTVs and lower rates, chasing the market and not necessarily quality and as a consequence these figures could be influenced by poor service levels.

“These figures don’t surprise me, they encourage me. Hopes’s figures in second quarter will be better than first which was our record.

“They’re gaining opportunity on the back of diminishing service levels of larger lenders who could be accused of getting greedy in a market steadily increasing. There’s every reason to be optimistic if you get your model right.

“The figures are also down to education with brokers becoming more knowledgable and aware of opportunities.”

The average term of a bridging loan was 11 months during the second quarter, down from 12 months in the previous quarter.

For the third consecutive quarter, mortgage delays were the most popular reason for obtaining a bridging loan, accounting for 24% of all lending.

For the first time, auction purchases were the second most popular reason for getting a bridging loan at 20% – up from 4% during the same quarter last year, as an increasing number of people benefitted from fast access to capital.

Refurbishment was the third most popular reason for obtaining a bridging loan during the first quarter at 18%.

A completion time of 48 days during Q1 2018 was lower than an average completion time of 50 days during Q1 2017.

The average term of a bridging loan was 11 months during the second quarter, down from 12 months in the previous quarter.

Average monthly interest rates remained at 0.83% for the second consecutive quarter and were 0.83% during the same quarter in 2017. Average LTV levels increased to 49.1% in Q1 2018, from 46.2% during the Q1 2017.

Regulated bridging loans increased for the first time since Q1 2017, with the number of regulated loans conducted by contributors increasing to 43.7% in Q1 2018, compared to 42.6% during Q4 2017.

First legal charge lending increased to 83.7% of all loans during Q1 2018, up from 80.3% in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, second charge loans increased to 16.3% compared to 13.4% during Q1 2017.

Joshua Elash, director of bridging finance lender, mtf, said: “It is particularly interesting that pricing has remained stable, despite an increase in regulated lending. This suggests that the recent downward pressure on rates might be easing and in the unregulated space, going the opposite way.

“Also, particularly interesting is the increase in bridging loans for auction purchases, considering the otherwise quiet property market, where transactional volumes have been adversely impacted by recent changes to buy-to-let income tax treatment and exorbitant increases in stamp duty.”

Tomer Aboody, director of bridging finance lender mtf, said: “Bridging volume has peaked to its highest level as the product becomes an increasingly mainstream financial tool.

“This is good news for borrowers that are able to access fast and vast pools of capital to fulfil their short-term funding needs as well as a growing number of investors attracted to the space.”

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