Data issued by the Building Societies Association shows that in Q3 2018, 31 per cent of new mortgages were approved by building societies, a yearly rise of 10 per cent.
This translates to 126,209 approvals in total compared to 114,896 in the previous year’s third quarter.
The figures also state that 31 per cent of all first-time mortgages in the third quarter of the year were approved by building societies, a total of 30,000. This figure is unchanged annually.
Meanwhile, gross lending by building societies stood at £17.9bn, up from £17.3bn in Q3 1017 – a rise of 3.4 per cent, while net lending was down, from £4.6bn to £3.9bn – a 17.9 per cent drop across the same time period.
BSA head of mortgage and housing policy Paul Broadhead says: “Brexit-related uncertainty is having a growing negative effect on home-buying and mortgage activity. Remortgaging remains the only part of the market that is growing and many buy-to-let borrowers are refinancing.
“Especially for those with small BTL portfolios, the implication of the tax changes will only really be felt as they complete their next tax return. FTBs are still active, but numbers are subdued and it’s unlikely that this part of the market will pick-up substantially in the short term.
“Competition is heating up for retail funding and savings rates are likely to rise moderately over the coming year. This may encourage people to save a little more, whether to improve their resilience in uncertain times or to spend in the future. Next April the increase in personal tax allowances will give some additional headroom for many.”