Building societies approved 29 per cent of mortgages in 2017, according to the Building Societies Association.
The mutual lenders approved 442,996 new mortgages in the period, down 1 per cent on the 448,222 approved in 2016.
Gross lending was £64.1bn, down 3 per cent on 2016’s £66.4bn.
Building societies’ outstanding mortgage balances were £298.7bn, a 22 per cent market share.
BSA chief executive Robin Fieth says: “Consumer confidence
fell during 2017 and is now subdued, this is unlikely to change until there is more clarity around the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
“This uncertainty may put some homebuyers off buying in the near term. However,
the labour market is robust and unemployment remains low as do interest rates, so the wider economic environment will support the mortgage market to some extent.”
Fieth adds: “Building societies are the obvious choice for the increasing number of people who require a mortgage that will run into retirement, who want
to build their own home or have other more complex borrowing needs.”