Building societies approved 448,157 mortgages in 2016, to the value of £65.4bn, according to the Building Societies Association.
The BSA says the final quarter of 2016 saw building societies approve one in three mortgages, totaling 109,543 loans, up 7 per cent on Q4 2015.
BSA head of mortgage policy Paul Broadhead says: “Despite the uncertainties facing the UK economy in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, consumer confidence remained remarkably strong in the final three months of 2016.
“This was reflected in the demand for mortgages which was up on 2015. Momentum did, however slow in the second half of the year. This was not simply due to ‘Referendum’ caution, the Stamp Duty change in April also had a noticeable effect.
“So far this year employment levels have remained stable and low interest rates are clearly an advantage for home buyers, but the uncertain economic outlook for 2017 may mean home buyers exercise more caution.”