The second charge loan industry lent £75.5m in March 2015 – the highest monthly figure in five years, the Enterprise Finance Secured Loan Index has revealed.
Comparably in February 2015 just £66.4m of secured business was transacted, as levels increased by 13.7% on a monthly basis.
Looking at the bigger picture annual lending now stands just shy of £800m (£799m), a 19% increase from £672 recorded in the 12 months to March 2014.
Harry Landy, director of Enterprise Finance, said: “If the secured loan market continues to grow at this rate, then this time next year we won’t be far off talking about a billion-pound industry.
“How smoothly the secured loan sector reacts to being regulated in the same manner as mainstream mortgages when the switch occurs next March will obviously be a determining factor in when that particular landmark is reached, but it shouldn’t represent a significant challenge to further growth.”
Landy attributes strong demand to low inflation, a strong jobs market, plunging energy prices and reluctance from the Bank of England to raise interest rates.
The average second charge loan size stands at £61,347, the typical first charge is £241,003 while the average loan to value is 56%.
Landy added: “Given there is often a feel-good factor after a General Election, there is nothing to suggest that consumer confidence won’t continue to rise over the coming months.
“With wages finally on the rise after a long period of stagnation, many people will feel better off than they have in some time, but for those seeking an extra cash injection, secured loans may represent a suitable solution.”