Mutuals’ gross lending up 33% in August

Building societies lent 32.2 per cent more to mortgage borrowers in August than they did in the same month of 2012.

Figures published today by the Building Societies Association show mutuals advanced nearly £4bn in August, up from nearly £3bn in August 2012.

Gross lending in the first eight months of the year stood at £26.1bn, up 30 per cent on the £19.9bn advanced in the first eight months of 2012. Mutuals’ market share of gross lending went up from 21 per cent in the first eight months of 2012 to 24 per cent in the same period of 2013.

Approvals were up 60.2 per cent year-on-year, with 2,249 loans approved by mutuals in August 2012 compared with 3,603 in August this year. One in three new loans by mutuals was made to first-time buyers.

Net new mortgage lending – gross lending minus repayments and redemptions – was £1.4bn in August, up 71 per cent on £821m in August last year.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Mutual lenders have sustained their activity in, and support for, the UK housing market and home-buyers over the long-term. Consumer sentiment has now clearly turned the corner and is beginning to improve.

However, sentiment can be fragile and it is vital that unexpected surprises and overheated rhetoric are avoided.”