Members of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) wrote more than £4bn of bridging loans in 2018, representing an increase of 14.8% on 2017.

Figures compiled by the ASTL’s auditors from its bridging lender members for the fourth quarter of last year show an increase in the value of loans completed, outstanding loan books and applications in 2018 compared to 2017.

During this period, the value of applications increased by 13.4% to nearly £21.5bn and total loan books increased by 3.6%.

The value of loans completed for the quarter ending 31 December 2018 increased by 13.5% on the previous quarter and the value of applications increased by 0.3%, although the value of outstanding loan books decreased by 7.1% during this period.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL says: “Our latest data survey shows continued growth in the bridging sector, with the value of loans completed in 2018 up by nearly 15% on 2017, the value of applications growing by more than 13% and the value of outstanding loan books also higher than the previous year.

“These results show that, in an uncertain economic environment, our members are continuing to provide useful, flexible finance for a whole range of purposes, and they are doing so whilst maintaining a commitment to high standards of underwriting. This is very encouraging and indicates a sustainable sector that is built on robust foundations.

The ASTL Data Survey: Q4 2018

These figures are taken from the responses from ASTL members, which include most of the key lenders in the bridging market.