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Bridging loan applications totalled more than £5.96bn in the first quarter of this year, representing growth of 13.6% compared to Q4 2018 and an increase of 6.9% on the same quarter last year. Applications for the year ended March 2019 were £21.8bn.

Figures compiled by auditors from data provided members of the Association of Short-Term Lenders (ASTL), revealed that bridging lender loan books reached £4.14bn in Q1 2019, an increase of 7.9% compared to Q4 2018, although slightly down on the same period last year.

The value of completions during Q1 2019 was £898.5m, representing a 13.1% decrease on the same period last year.

Included in the figure for bridging completions was £92 m of development loans. In addition to this, ASTL members wrote a further £206.6m of non-bridging development loans, making a total of £236.9m.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL says: “The results for Q1 2019 were a mixed bag. For completions, this was the lowest result since Q3 2017. On the other hand, the loan book total is the highest since Q1 2018 and the applications were the highest ever. We would expect this high value of completions to result in improved completions in Q2 2019.”

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