Yorkshire-based mutuals boost lending

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

Mortgage lending at three Yorkshire-based building societies rocketed in the last 12 months, figures from their annual results have shown.

The Yorkshire, Leeds and Skipton building societies all recorded bumper years for mortgage lending.

Yorkshire Building Society achieved record gross mortgage lending of £7.6bn, a 13% increase on the £6.8bn recorded in 2013

This represents 34,800 mortgages, including a record 8,200 to first-time buyers.

At the Skipton loans totalling £3bn were completed during 2014, up from £2.4 billion last year.

This allowed some 19,500 borrowers to purchase or remortgage their properties, includes 2,946 first-time buyers. The lender’s buy-to-let arm also enjoyed a strong year, completing £323m of loans to investors and landlords.

Leeds Building Society lending increased by almost a quarter to reach £2.7bn. The mutual said this level of lending was ‘significantly above’ its natural market share.

Leeds Building Society chief executive Peter Hill said his firm was always looking for new ways to help borrowers.

“Our innovation in the mortgage market has won further awards and industry recognition, with a positive reception from borrowers, intermediaries and sector experts,” he said.

“This includes significant progress on lending on new build homes and our support for the government’s Help to Buy equity scheme. The latter are both examples of our efforts to support borrowers who are not well-served by the wider market.”

Paul Darwin, Skipton’s head of intermediary sales, said the market was in a period of uncertainty but competition between lenders remained strong.

“Looking forward, the next twelve months will be interesting. The housing market remains in a state of unrest with the strength of the economic recovery, mortgage market and housing market all moderating towards the end of 2014. Early indications in 2015 are that there has been a slight improvement in many of these areas since the year end, and mortgage competition remains strong.”