According to a spokesperson, there was a £7m increase year-on-year in the value of applications overall.
In its latest half-year results, the lender said it received record mortgage applications in the first half of the year, with May reporting £1.1bn in mortgage applications, the society’s highest ever month.
The mutual’s mortgage portfolio grew 3.1 per cent to £24bn, and its net lending was responsible for 2.2 per cent of growth in the UK residential mortgage market.
The society has a 1.4 per cent share of UK mortgage balances.
The lender added that it helped 6,200 first-time buyers get on the property ladder and had grown its membership by over 20,000 to around 1.1 million.
Skipton’s mortgages in arrears of three months or more came to 0.2 per cent of accounts, slightly down from the end of the year at 0.23 per cent. This compares to industry average of 0.77 per cent, according to UK Finance.
Skipton added that it only passed 0.1 per cent of the total one per cent increase in the Bank of England’s base rate to variable rate borrowers.
The mutual generated pre-tax profit of £160m in the first half of the year, compared to £159.2m in the same period last year.
Within its mortgages and savings division, pre-tax profit came to £128.3m, a rise of £41.4m on the same period last year. The lender said this was due to increases in net interest income and improved interest margins.
The lender added that it had committed to a payment of £1,500 to employees below below senior leader level in September and had awarded an average 11 per cent increase in pay following its annual pay review in January.
Ian Cornelius (pictured), Skipton’s interim group chief executive, said its strong performance came at a time when household finances were “under significant strain”.
He explained: “The current economic environment for our members and colleagues is understandably causing concern. Our role at Skipton is to help people navigate these challenging times, and it’s very pleasing to see our competitive offering and first-rate service have enabled us in recent months to help more people than ever before.”
He said as a mutual, its priority would be “long-term sustainability” rather than “short-term profit maximisation”, so it would reinvest the products into the business for the “benefit of everyone”.
This includes improving IT, digital and data platforms, attracting and retaining talent and green ambitions of net zero.
Cornelius continued: “These results for the first half of 2022, including the excellent growth achieved in both mortgages and savings, are the result of the great work by colleagues across the society and their unwavering focus on helping our members at every life stage by offering great value, great service and a strong proposition that meets their needs.
“Public and personal finances have rarely been under such pressure as they are today. Whilst faced with significant uncertainties, Skipton is in a robust position to meet the challenges ahead.
“The trust our customers and colleagues place in us to do the right thing by them will never be taken for granted. We will continue to do everything we can to support them and their families in these extraordinary times.”
Connells and Skipton International report profit
Connells, the group’s estate agency division, reported underlying pre-tax profits of £29m, nearly half of £50m profits reports in same period last year.
The higher profits in 2021 were attributed to “exceptional housing market demand” due to thestamp duty relief and people’s changing housing needs post-pandemic.
The underlying result also includes amortisation charges of £10.4m against the intangible assets that were recognised on its acquisition of Countrywide. In the six months ended 30 June 2021 the amortisiation charge was £38.3m.
The estate agency’s market share stayed stable at 10 per cent across its 1,250 branch network, and its sales pipeline increased by 11 per cent compared to the same period last year due to strong buyer demand.
The report said the Connells results showed more “challenging housing market conditions” such as lack of stock, slow pipeline conversion due to market-wide conveyancing delays and economic headwinds.
Skipton International Limited, the Guernsey-based bank, reported pre-tax profit of £18m, up from £11.4m in the same period last year.
Mortgage balances came to £1.8bn, which is slightly up from £1.7bn in the same period last year.
Skipton appoints telephone BDM
Skipton has appointed James Robertshaw as a telephone business development manager.
He has been with the mutual since 2020, initially joining on the broker support team, before becoming a mortgage underwriter in 2021.
Robertshaw said: “I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all and sharing with you our exciting proposition. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please do reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help.”