Brokers are increasingly submitting bridging applications to more than one lender, the Association of Short Term Lenders said.
According to the ASTL this explains why applications increased by 34% year-on-year in 2016 but the value of loans written only rose by 9.4%.
The ASTL’s figures show that the value of bridging lending reached £2.83bn last year, up from £2.59bn in 2015.
Benson Hersch (pictured), chief executive of the ASTL, said: “While lending by ASTL members didn’t quite hit £3bn, there are a number of bridging loans that fall under the radar, made by lenders that many people do not know exist, as well as those lenders who are not members, so the actual size of the bridging market is far larger.”
The bridging market had a very strong fourth quarter of 2016, as demand rose by 26% from the quarter ending September 2016 quarter.
Hersch added: “After a dip in volumes almost across the board in Q3 last year following the referendum, the size of the increase both in the quarter and across the year has overshot even my most optimistic expectations.
“I do expect volumes to rise again in the first quarter of this year, however I expect the percentage increase to be lower compared to Q4, as this quarter’s figures very much contrast with the Brexit blues that affected people looking for bridging loans between July and September last year.”