Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) provided a record number of first-time buyer mortgages in 2020 according to its latest financial results.
YBS provided 10,854 first-time buyer mortgages in 2020, compared with 7,789 in 2019.
Other highlights revealed in the financial results included profit before tax being recorded at £161.3m, a slight drop from 2019, and a core operating profit of £170.5m which is down from £184.6m in 2019.
During 2020, the society provided 39,331 mortgage payment deferrals to help those suffering an income shortfall as a result of the pandemic.
The vast majority of those who received a mortgage payment deferral have now resumed their normal repayments, according to YBS.
Throughout the year the society provided a total of 72,127 mortgages, resulting in total mortgage balances increasing by £800m to £38.8bn, with gross lending at £7.1bn.
There was a reduction in the number of mortgages offered in the first half of the year, when the housing market was largely suspended, but YBS say that they have seen significant levels of activity in the second half of the year and particularly following the government’s change to stamp duty thresholds.
The society predicts that the mortgage market is likely to remain highly competitive for the rest of the year, and remains keen to support all homebuyers, including those buying their first home in 2021.
From a community investment perspective, the society has partnered with Age UK in 2021, which aims to raise £1m to deliver the Building Better Lives programme.
Mike Regnier, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Despite the economic challenges and uncertainties, I’m pleased to report Yorkshire Building Society delivered a strong set of 2020 results.
“Our statutory and core profits remain healthy, with plenty of capital and liquidity to weather the external environment and enable us to continue to support our customers.
“We have continued to simplify our business and have, once again, reduced our overall cost base while still growing the society in terms of both mortgage and savings balances.
“These results would not have been possible without the hard work, dedication and resilience of our colleagues.
“In what has been an incredibly worrying and difficult year for everyone, both personally and professionally, they have supported our customers and each other. I’m incredibly grateful to each and every one of them.
“As an organisation which aims to deliver real help and value to its customers, we were very pleased to help a record number of first-time buyers in 2020.
“We’ll continue to support those buying homes in 2021.
“The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the challenges many people face around financial wellbeing, employment and skills.
“We have increased the work we are doing to support communities with greater investment and focus on our community programmes.
“At the end of 2020, we committed to enhance existing initiatives and establish new schemes to help people of all ages and stages of life with financial resilience.
“We’re proud to be advancing an agenda which will support people who find themselves in difficult circumstances with financial wellbeing, skills and employability, making a real difference to thousands of lives.”