Mortgage lending buoyant in first three months of the year

26th May 2022

New figures from the Building Societies Association (BSA) have indicated that mortgage lending by building societies in the first three months of this year was on a par with lending in the same period last year when the Stamp Duty holiday was in operation.

Both lending and approvals were higher in January-March 2022 than they were in October-December 2021, immediately after Stamp Duty was re-imposed.

The figures showed that gross lending in Q1 2022 was £17.9bn, on a par with Q1 2021 (£18.0bn) and 11.7% above lending in Q4 2021 (£16.1bn).

During Q1 this year, building societies approved 111,697 mortgage loans, down 6.0% on the 119,216 approved in Q1 2021 and up on the 102,542 mortgage loans approved in Q4 2021.

Building societies hold outstanding mortgage balances of £358.0bn, up 4% on Q1 2021 (£343.0bn), a steady 23% share of the total mortgage market

Building Societies lent to 25,208 first-time buyers in Q1 2022 broadly on par with the 25,735 mortgage loans in Q1 2021

Commenting Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the BSA said “The housing market was vibrant between January and March this year, despite rising house prices and the re-imposition of Stamp Duty.  The fact that building societies lent as much during this period as they did during Q1 2021 with no Stamp Duty payable is testament to their presence and competitiveness in a busy market.  The limited number of properties being put up for sale, coupled with the rising cost of living is likely to result in a more subdued housing market as the year progresses.  With over 80% of existing mortgages on fixed rates this won’t apply to the re-mortgage market which we expect to remain active.“