The BSA have released data that shows the value of mortgage loans approved by building societies rose 10% in 2015 to Â£57.8bn - a 26% market share.
By number of loans, building society approvals rose 6% in 2015 - 395,300 loans of which around a third were to first time buyers. Market share by number of loans approved was 28%.
Net lending for 2015 was down on 2014 at £15.2bn (2014: £17.3bn). However, building societies’ market share still accounts for 45% of all net lending in the year, and 75% (£60.6bn) of £81.2bn total market net lending since the start of 2012.
At the end of 2015 building societies held mortgages to the value of £265.2bn, 21% of the UK market.
Building societies also held savings balances of £246.6bn, an 18% share of the UK market.
Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA, said: “Competition in the mortgage market picked up in 2015 with the large banks demonstrating an increased appetite to lend. Despite this, building societies have continued to benefit from their ability to provide mortgages to consumers with a wide range of requirements, including first time buyers, self-builders, shared owners and those needing mortgages later in life.
Building societies’ market share in savings has held up well despite Government-backed NS&I more than trebling its share of the market in 2015.
Despite European and global uncertainty, consumer sentiment in the housing market remains strong and building societies will continue to have a compelling mortgage lending proposition during 2016. However, we do remain concerned about consumer affordability across all housing tenures due to the continued shortage of housing supply. We remain convinced that a healthy housing market offers consumers a choice of tenures, whether full or shared ownership, social housing or private rental and that public policy should support this.”