Lending from the building society sector continues to boom with gross advances hitting a seven-year high of £3.73bn in May. This was up from £3.39bn at the same time last year.
Net advances were up to £1.54bn compared to May 2002, and approvals came in at £4.6bn for the month ‘ up from £3.84bn the previous year.
Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association, said: ‘Building society net advances (seasonally adjusted) in May 2003 were the highest since October 1996, when many mortgage banks were still building societies. This clearly demonstrates the widespread attractiveness of building society mortgages and that consumers are increasingly choosing these, compared to other institution’s products.’
At this year’s Building Societies Association conference, chairman John Goodfellow said the atmosphere had been ‘bubbly’ and that he felt the societies were more focused on what members wanted, and how they could deliver it, in terms of good value products and loyalty bonuses. He felt this was why they were performing so well after nervous times in past years.
In its own set of figures, the British Bankers’ Association said mortgage lending in May had risen by £4.62bn, slightly down on the average monthly rise of £5.1bn seen over the last six months.