Building Society approvals at 10-year high

Robyn Hall

May 1, 2013

Building society approvals are now at the highest level in at least a decade and are now almost double pre credit crunch levels (16.2%).

The record level of approvals underlines the surge in building society gross lending which has increased 65% since 2009 (£18,574bn to £30,701bn in December 2012) while gross lending for the bigger banks decreased 16% in the same time period from £118,458bn to £99,395bn.

Gross mortgage lending share by building societies now constitutes 21.8% of the overall gross mortgage lending market year-on-year, representing a significant increase since 2009 when building societies represented just 12.9%.

Sean Oldfield, chief executive officer, Castle Trust said: “The recovery of the mortgage market since 2009 is as much a story of the strength of building societies while they have adapted and innovated as it is about the retrenchment of the bigger banks.

“The record level of approvals demonstrates their commitment to meet the needs of responsible borrowers and to work in partnership with customers.”

Analysis from Castle Trust also found that building societies are dominating the mortgage best buy tables and now offer 83% of the most competitive deals.

Castle Trust analysis shows 35 out of 40 mortgage best buy deals in January 2013 across fixed, variable and buy-to-let deals are provided by building societies – a staggering 94% higher than the 18 out of 40 best buy deals offered by building societies in 2008.

Oldfield continued: “Increased availability of funds through the Funding for Lending scheme is helping to boost the mortgage market as a whole but there remains a real need for further innovation to help unblock the housing market in support of Government schemes such as FirstBuy and HomeBuy.”

Building societies currently offering best buy deals include Holmesdale for remortgages, while Coventry, Leeds, and Leek United are competitive for fixed rates. Holmesdale, Marsden and Mansfield are competitive for discounted rates and Furness and Coventry score well for variable rates.

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