Press release

Building society mortgage approvals rise 10% in 2015

17 February 2016

Today the BSA has released mortgage lending and savings statistics for the 2015 full year.  The figures show a healthy increase in gross lending and mortgage approvals on 2014 and continued strong market share despite more intense competition.   The value of mortgage loans approved in the year was up 10% on 2014 at £57.8 billion.

Mortgage Lending:

  • Gross lending by building societies rose 8% year on year with £57.0 billion lent to consumers, a 26% market share.  This compares to £52.7 billion in 2014.
  • Mortgage approvals for the year by value totalled £57.8 billion, up 10% on 2014 (£52.4billion), a 26% market share.
  • By number of loans, building society approvals rose 6% in 2015 - 395,300 loans (2014: 373,000) 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 £15.2 billion (2014: £17.3 billion).  However, building societies’ market share remains strong, accounting for 45% of all net lending in the year, and 75% (£60.6bn) of £81.2 billion total market net lending since the start of 2012.
  • At the end of 2015 building societies held mortgages to the value of £265.2 billion, 21% of the UK market.

Retail savings: 

  • Retail savings balances increased by £10.4 billion in 2015, up marginally from the £10.3 billion increase in 2014.
  • At the end of 2015 building societies held savings balances of £246.6 billion, an 18% share of the UK market.

Commenting, 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.”   


Press contact:
Hilary McVitty, Head of External Affairs
Tel: 07507 837 326

Notes to Editors:

  • Full mortgage data can be downloaded at
  • Full savings data can be downloaded at
  • Gross lending relates to loans completed during 2015 whereas mortgage approvals relate to loans approved but not necessarily completed by December 31 2015.
  • In 2015 NS&I attracted 34% of the change in retail savings deposits from households, compared to a share of outstanding savings balances of 10%.


Hilary McVitty

Head of External Affairs

Tel: 0207 520 5926

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