Building societies approved a third of mortgages in Q1

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Building societies continued to approve one in three new mortgages across the UK in the first three months of 2017.

Data from the Building Societies Association shows its members approved 112,287 new mortgage loans in the period, up 2 per cent on the 109,762 mortgage loans approved in Q1 2016.

There were 359,159 new mortgages approvals across the market, giving building societies a market share of 31 per cent.

Total market gross lending was £58.3bn, giving building societies a market share of 26 per cent.

A BSA statement says: “Gross lending by the sector was down 15 per cent compared to last year when Stamp Duty changes distorted the market, but overall the market is relatively subdued and is expected to remain so for the remainder of the year.”

Building societies were responsible for 50 per cent of the growth in the mortgage market, contributing £3.9bn net lending of the total £7.9bn across the market.

BSA chief executive Robin Fieth says: “Despite the challenges facing the housing market, building societies have maintained a high market share of mortgage lending.

“Buying a home is not always a straightforward process and each borrower has different needs and faces different circumstances. Building societies are able to take a more personalised approach to lending, responding to factors including changing age demographics and working patterns.”