Bridging sector nears £3bn mark

The bridging sector is nearing the £3bn lending mark after 30 per cent year-on-year growth in the 12 months to the end of June.

Figures from West One Loans’ latest bridging index suggest providers lent £2.8bn in the past year, up from £2.1bn in the 12 months to the end of June 2014.

The average loan size now stands at £747,292 – up a third on a year ago – while the average LTV fell from 50 per cent to around 48.5 per cent over the period.

The average interest rate in May and June stood at 1.2 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent in the previous two months.

West One Loans director Duncan Kreeger says: “As the economy improves following the stability the election result provided, so too appetite for bridging loans continues to blossom. As has been the trend for some time, it is not just loan volumes that are heading north, but typical loan sizes continue to grow too.

“Borrowers are becoming more confident in short-term lenders’ ability to meet their needs and are feeling increasingly confident about embarking on larger projects. On the flip side, lenders are comfortable granting ever more sizeable loans and have full faith that these transactions will be repaid. The increase in big-ticket loans is the real driving force behind the sector’s annual growth and further evidence that borrowers see bridging loans as an effective short-term finance solution.”