Press release

Building societies report growth in mortgage lending and savings balances

Q3 lending and savings figures
  • Contact: Katie Wise
  • Tel: 0207 520 5904
  • Created date: 22 November 2021

Figures released today from the Building Societies Association for Q3 2021 show continued momentum in the housing market, with gross lending by building societies up 22% compared to the same period in 2020.  

Savings balances at building societies have grown strongly, increasing by £4.2 billion in Q3 2021, three times the increase in the third quarter of 2020.

Building society mortgage lending Q3 2021

  • Gross lending in Q3 2021 was £16.9bn, up 22% on the same period last year (Q3 2020: £13.9bn)
  • During the third quarter, societies approved 109,575 mortgage loans, 4% more than in Q3 2020 (105,022)
  • Building societies hold outstanding mortgage balances of £351.2bn, a 23% share of the total mortgage market.

Building society savings balances Q3 2021

  • Building societies hold savings balances of £328.2bn, up 10% on the previous year (Q3 2020: £297.3bn).
  • Savings balances increased by £4.2bn in the quarter, three times the £1.4bn increase in the third quarter of 2020.
  • Cash ISA balances held with building societies increased by £0.2bn in Q3 2021, compared to a decline of £3.6bn across the market as a whole.

Commentary from Andrew Gall, Chief Economist at the BSA

“The strong level of mortgage lending activity in the third quarter by building societies, and across the wider market, suggests that the tapering of the stamp duty holiday has not been a major barrier to property purchase. It is likely that households will continue to re-evaluate their housing needs in the post-pandemic world, which will to continue to support demand into the new year.

“The Bank of England is sounding like it is ready to increase the Bank Rate from its historically low level of 0.1% over the coming months. Whilst this may see some mortgage rates rise, the vast majority of households are on fixed term products and so won't see any immediate change to their monthly repayments.

“Savings balances have also grown at building societies in the period and it’s particularly pleasing to see an inflow to Cash ISAs, despite a £3.6 billion outflow across the market.”


Hilary McVitty, Tel: 07741 984 042

Katie Wise, Tel: 020 7520 5904

Notes to editors

Download building society mortgage lending figures here

Download building society savings figures here


  • Gross lending figures refer to the total value of loans advanced in a given period.
  • Approvals are the firm offers of lenders to advance credit secured on specific dwellings to their customers. This is the total agreed advance, irrespective of whether the mortgage offer has been accepted by the customer. Approvals are reported net of cancellations.


Katie Wise

Policy & External Affairs Officer

Tel: 0207 520 5904

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