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Lending and approvals by mutuals rise year on year in January

Monday 5th March 2012

Building societies and other mutual lenders continued to increase their lending in January 2012, compared to the same month in 2011.

Gross mortgage lending was up 32% and mortgage approvals increased by 54% on January 2011. 

Adrian Coles, Director-General of the Building Societies Association, said: "New lending and approvals for house purchase picked up across the market in January, perhaps in part due to first-time buyers taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday before it ends in March.

"Lending activity by mutuals was up significantly in January compared to the same month last year, continuing the trend of increased lending by the mutual sector seen throughout 2011. 

"A fall in savings balances is common in January as households begin to repay the debt accumulated over the Christmas period.

"Household finances have been particularly stretched over the last year due to prices rising ahead of earnings growth, and higher levels of unemployment. Savings figures can fluctuate on a monthly basis, and are often influenced by fixed-term products maturing in the month."

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