Bridging applications hit highest ever level

Bridging applications climbed to their highest ever level in the third quarter of 2020, new figures have revealed.

Data provided by members of the Association of Short-Term Lenders (ASTL) showed that completions rose by more than 40% in Q3, as the market bounced back from the impact of the first lockdown.

The data also showed that applications totalled £7.6bn in Q3 2020, representing an increase of 39.1% over the previous quarter, and an increase of 25.7% on the same period in 2019.

“The Q3 lending figures from the ASTL reflect feedback from the market demonstrating that this has been a hugely busy period for bridging lending,” commented ASTL CEO, Vic Jannels. “Applications over the quarter totalled £7.6bn, which is the highest figure we have ever recorded.”

The data also revealed that completions in Q3 2020 were £680m, which was an increase of 44.8% on Q2, although still down by 27.6% on the same period last year. The ASTL suggested this reflected the influence of the first national lockdown on the previous quarter’s originations activity.

“Completions also bounced back on the previous quarter but remain down on last year as an overhang of the first national lockdown,” Jannels said. “We’re unlikely to see this overhang again as the market remained open during the second lockdown – but we must still remain cautious about the future, as the road ahead remains full of economic uncertainty.

“That said, if the recent positive news about vaccines come to fruition and lenders continue to underwrite loans sensibly, whilst taking a proactive and collaborative approach to customers in default, then there is no reason why this quarter’s figures should not prove a strong foundation for a robust and sustainable recovery.”

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