Building Societies have, like the rest of the mortgage market, gone through their share of ups and downs since the credit crisis hit. A number of long established Societies no longer exist as standalone brands, having been saved by or swallowed up by larger mutual Societies.
However, many have managed to deal with the difficult market and continue to prosper. The Building Societies Association reports that mortgage lending by mutual lenders increased by 30% in 2012 compared with the previous year. That amounted to a total of £30.7 billion which represented a 22% share of gross lending, a figure way above their share of outstanding mortgages.
These figures underline the importance of Building Societies in today’s market. The mutual sector is made up of a broad range of Society, from the very large such as Nationwide through to the small regional societies that continue to offer an important service to the local community and beyond.
Competition is vital in improving the rates on offer to mortgage borrowers in today’s market and building societies can offer an alternative to some of the huge Banks. For example some of the smaller societies are the lenders that have put their head above the parapet and are offering mortgages to those with only a small deposit.
Of course today’s borrower is rightly interested in getting the best deal for their needs. Sometimes that may come from a Bank but on other occasions it will be a Building Society that offers the best package. Even smaller Societies can offer very keen rates and the impressive figures of 2012 show that the mutual sector has an important role to play in a healthy mortgage market.