The sector approved 109,543 new mortgage loans, up 7% on the same period in 2015.
Consumers borrowed 448,157 mortgages from the UK’s 44 building societies, to the value of £65.4bn, against a total market sized at £240bn.
Paul Broadhead (pictured), head of mortgage policy at the BSA said: “Despite the uncertainties facing the UK economy in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, consumer confidence remained remarkably strong in the final three months of 2016. This was reflected in the demand for mortgages which was up on 2015. Momentum did, however, slow in the second half of the year. This was not simply due to ‘Referendum’ caution, the Stamp Duty change in April also had a noticeable effect.”
He added that employment levels have been stable so far this year and low interest rates will continue to offer homebuyers an advantage, but the uncertain economic outlook for 2017 may mean home buyers exercise more caution.
On savings this year, the BSA said households will have to contend with higher consumer prices and relatively low growth in wages.
“This could force some people to use their savings to support current levels of spending putting pressure on their ability to save and reducing retail savings inflows,” said Broadhead.