Packagers team up to track bridging sector

Packagers have joined forces to launch a new quarterly series highlighting lending trends in the bridging sector.

The companies involved include Brightstar, Enness Private Clients, Positive Lending, SPF Shirt Term Finance and bridging lender MTF.

Its first report, published today, shows 69 per cent of loans written in the first quarter were unregulated.

The average term was 11 months, while the average monthly interest rate was 0.95 per cent and the average LTV was 50 per cent.

Property refurbishment was the most popular use of bridging loans, at 26 per cent, followed by ‘businesses purposes’ at 24 per cent.

The average completion time was 34 days and the total lent through these distributors in the first quarter was £80.5m.

MTF director Joshua Elash says: “There has been a lack of transparency in the bridging finance sector and we thought it would be beneficial to bring together a number of the UK finance industry’s largest packagers to collect data and present the objective information as a benchmark for the sector.

“Bridging Trends will be a useful tool for financial market players as it will deliver a more realistic representation on the specialist lending market.”

Enness Private Clients head of commercial finance Chris Whitney says: “Typically, the first three months of the year can be unpredictable in terms of completions, but the overall LTV was surprisingly low. The average rate, on the other hand, was surprisingly high in an environment where pricing is under downward pressure. This can be accredited to the more expensive highly specialist and niche short-term financing requirements, like leasehold restaurants, which helped balance the overall figures.”

Bridging Trends Q1 2015