Opinion Former Article

BSA: Mortgage lending and approvals increase in April

Gross mortgage lending by building societies and other mutual lenders rose 23% in April 2012 compared to the same month last year. In the first four months of 2012 lending rose 36% compared to the same period in 2011. Net lending by mutuals was positive for a seventh consecutive month.

Mortgage approvals by mutuals were up 50% in April compared to the same month last year, and were 20% higher than the average over the previous six months. Showing a very healthy pipeline, approvals were up 43% in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2011.

Retail savings balances at mutuals increased by £99 million in April, compared to an increase of £1,468 million in the same month last year. After interest credited is removed there was a net withdrawal of £463 million in April.

Commenting, Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said:

"Gross lending by mutuals increased again in April year on year, whilst lending by banks fell slightly. As expected gross lending was down on the March figure as mortgage lending in that month was boosted by first-time buyer activity to beat the stamp duty holiday. Approvals were strong in April running well above the previous six month average. This clearly indicates that mutuals will continue to be active lenders to homebuyers in coming months."

"Savings balances at mutuals increased in April, but it remains difficult to attract savers when household finances are still pressed. It was welcome news to learn that consumer price inflation fell half a percentage point to 3.0% in April from 3.5% in March, however this is still above the growth in average earnings, and inflation is not likely to fall back to the 2% target any time this year."

~ Ends ~

Hilary McVitty
Tel: 020 7520 5926
Email: hilary.mcvitty@bsa.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

Mutual statistics April 2012 and additional data is available on request

1. The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents mutual lenders and deposit takers in the UK including all 47 UK building societies. Mutual lenders and deposit takers serve around 32 million customers, have total assets of over £375 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of nearly £240 billion, 19% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold more than £250 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 22% of all such deposits in the UK. Mutual deposit takers account for 34% of cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 50,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 2,000 branches.

2. Data in this release relates to 47 building societies and five other mutual deposit taking and lending institutions in the UK.

3. Photographs of Adrian Coles are available from the BSA press office, or from the Association's website at www.bsa.org.uk or Headlinemoney www.headlinemoney.co.uk

Katie Wise
Policy and External Affairs Officer
Building Societies Association
6th Floor, York House
23 Kingsway

Tel: 020 7520 5904
Email: katie.wise@bsa.org.uk
Web: www.bsa.org.uk
Twitter: @BSABuildingSocs


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