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Mutuals complete £31.3bn gross mortgage lending in six months to March – BSA

  • 29/05/2024
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Mutuals complete £31.3bn gross mortgage lending in six months to March – BSA
Building societies issued £31.3bn in gross mortgage lending from October last year to March, data from a trade association revealed.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) data showed this accounted for 30% of the market during this period.

Compared to the previous six months, this was up from a gross mortgage lending figure of £30.9bn in the six months to September and slightly higher than the £31.2bn lent during the same period the year before. 

March saw the highest value of gross mortgage lending in the six-month period, at £5.4m. This was higher than the same period in 2023, when gross mortgage lending totalled £5.2m. 


Outperforming the wider market 

The association said mutuals also propped up the mortgage market, as their balances grew in contrast to the wider sector. Net mortgage lending across building societies totalled £8.6bn over the period. 

The BSA said this coincided with a £10bn fall in net mortgage balances at other lenders. 

Mutuals approved 191,241 mortgages over the six months to March, accounting for 36% of the market. This was higher than the 187,451 mortgages approved during the preceding six-month period, as well as the 161,198 mortgages approved by building societies a year earlier. 

The rate of arrears across mortgage balances at building societies was comparatively low, with 0.25% of balances in arrears at the end of Q4 2023. This was compared to a rate of 0.69% across the total market. 

The BSA attributed this to building societies’ “lower-risk approach” to lending. 


Mutuals supporting first-time buyers 

In the six months to March, building societies helped 49,844 first-time buyers purchase a home. This represented 37% of all residential lending within this sector. 

Customers of building societies also seemed to have higher levels of satisfaction. According to a separate YouGov survey, 92% of building society customers said their lender provided good customer service, compared to 87% of bank customers.

The survey also reported that around three-quarters of building society customers said their mutual was an important part of the community, higher than the 49% of bank customers who said the same. 

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