Building societies and other mutual lenders increased their gross mortgage lending by 32 per cent and mortgage approvals by 54 per cent in January, year on year.
Building Societies Association members carried out £1.9bn of gross mortgage lending in January 2012, up from £1.4bn in January 2011, while £1.7bn of mortgages were approved in January, up from £1.1bn the previous year.
Director general Adrian Coles says: “New lending and approvals for house purchase picked up across the market in January, perhaps in part due to first-time buyers taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday before it ends in March. Lending activity by mutuals was up significantly in January compared with the same month last year, continuing the trend of increased lending by the mutual sector seen throughout 2011.”
Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “In recent years, building societies have re-established themselves in the mortgage market by increasingly providing competitive products and in many instances by offering more flexible lending criteria than some other providers.
“The BSA figures show that consumers are once again taking advantage of these deals to purchase their first home, remortgage or buy a new property.”