Bridging Loans

The bridging finance sector has continued to see solid growth during the second quarter of 2017, according to the West One Bridging Index.

The index found that gross annualised lending increased to £4.3bn in June, 4.2% up on June 2016 and approaching last year’s pre-EU referendum high of £4.4bn.

West One also found that the typical size of a bridging loan dipped slightly during Q2 to £880,000, compared with £1.2m in Q1.

Meanwhile, bridging interest rates have seen a steady decline and fell below 1% in June when they hit a record low of 0.96%.

Stephen Wasserman, managing director of West One, stated: “After a substantial dip in the market’s performance in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, it’s obviously very encouraging that the bridging sector is seeing its third consecutive quarter of annualised growth.

“With this period including the significant political and economic volatility of Article 50 being issued, a snap general election that delivered a hung parliament and then the formal initiation of Brexit negotiations, the continued recovery only serves to underpin the resilience of the bridging market.”

Danny Waters, CEO of Enra Group, said that despite the growth, there were still challenges ahead.

“The Brexit negotiations will likely cast a shadow over the property market for the foreseeable future, and with inflation continuing to be a problem, it is possible that we could see an interest rate increase in the coming months.

“Whatever happens next, the industry needs to be ready with diverse and flexible financing options for property purchasers.”