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&#39Borrowers returning to building societies for best mortgage deals&#39

Building societies reached their highest mortgage lending total for 13 months in April.

Figures from the Building Societies&#39 Association show societies&#39 lending at £2.673bn in April up from £2.67bn in March and £1.9bn in April 2001.

BSA figures for April reveal net advances rose to £788m from £682m the previous month and £628m last April.

But approvals, loans agreed but not yet made, decreased to £3.3bn from £3.4bn in March although this is still higher than the £1.9bn in April 2001. In the savings market, societies had net inflows of £1.3bn last month, up from £731m in March.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Mortgage lending is the highest for 13 months – a clear indication that borrowers are returning to building societies as they search for the best deal. Commitments outstanding – that is in the pipeline for future loans – are 34 per cent higher from a year ago, suggesting that this success will continue.

“As expected, there was a sharp inflow of Isa funds as late-comers invested in the nick of time at the end of the old tax year and early birds took adv-antage of the new tax year. Societies attracted £1.8bn into cash Isas as investors sought a move from the instability of the equity.”

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