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Building society lending up 27%

Building society lending is continuing to grow, with gross advances up 27 per cent to £3.3bn in January from £2.1bn last January, according to the Building Societies Association.

Net advances, representing total mortgage balances outstanding, grew 134 per cent to £1.3bn in January 2003 from £569m in January 2002.

Approvals of loans agreed but not yet made grew 36 per cent to £3bn in January 2003 from £2.2bn in January 2002 but were substantially down on the previous month, falling 23 per cent from £3.9bn in December 2002.

Building societies saw the usual new year net outflow of savings as deposits fell 55 per cent from £348m in January 2002 to £150m in January 2003.

BSA director general Adrian Coles says: “Net advances were well over double of those a year ago, demonstrating the attractiveness that building society products hold in a very competitive market.

“Although the amount of money promised but not yet spent fell slightly in January, building societies still have a very full pipeline, suggesting that lending will remain strong into the Spring.”

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