Developments in the wider economy are making it more challenging for homebuyers and savers. Building societies continue to support both groups and maintained a high market share of new mortgage lending and savings in the second quarter of 2017 according to latest figures from the Building Society Association

Building societies approved 112,340 new mortgage loans.  Down 5% on the 118,637 mortgage loans approved in Q2 2016, and broadly the same as Q1 2017 (112,286). There were 383,980 new mortgages approvals across the market in Q2, giving building societies a market-share of 29%.

Gross lending by building societies was £16.1bn, up 1% on the £15.9bn lent in Q2 2016, and up 6% on Q1 2017 (£15.1bn). Total market gross lending was £61.9bn, giving building societies a market-share of 26%. Building societies were responsible for 30% of the growth in the mortgage market, contributing £3.3bn net lending out of the total £11.2bn across the market. Building societies hold outstanding mortgage balances of £292bn, a 22% market-share.

Commenting Joseph Thompson, Business Economist at the BSA said “It is a challenging market for those looking to buy a home. Choice is limited as the number of properties coming on to on the market has fallen, and the contribution from new-build is still too low.  At the same time, house prices have been rising faster than earnings putting additional financial pressure on homebuyers.  These challenges can be seen in lower numbers of mortgage approvals.  As none of these factors is likely to change this year, the number of property transactions is likely to remain relatively weak. Many homebuyers, especially those with a more complicated financial situation, prefer dealing with a building society as they can take a more personal approach to lending.”

“Challenges in the wider economy are making it difficult for households to save. Consumer prices are rising faster than average earnings, so people are using their savings to maintain spending levels. The pressures on households are likely to persist over the rest of the year, so savings balances are expected to increase at a slower pace than we saw in 2016.”