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Home Business Property market remains buoyant in face of rising prices but savings on the slide

Property market remains buoyant in face of rising prices but savings on the slide

by uma
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  • Gross mortgage lending in Q1 2022 was £17.9bn – this was similar to Q1 2021 (£18.0bn) and 11.7% above lending in Q4 2021 (£16.1bn).
  • Building societies approved 111,697 mortgage loans during Q1 2022, down 6.0% on the 119,216 approved in Q1 2021 and up on the 102,542 mortgage loans approved in Q4 2021. 
  • Building societies held savings balances of £333.2bn at the end of Q1 2022, up 5.0% on the £316.8bn held at the end of Q1 2021.
  • Savings balances increased by £3.0bn in Q1 2022, a third of the £9.1bn increase in Q1 2021.

Building Societies Association has released data on mortgage lending and savings for Q1 2022.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Today’s figures showed the continued remarkable resilience of the housing market with building society mortgage lending remaining on par with the same period as last year. As we went into 2021, we were in the midst of the pandemic race for space as people looked to secure homes with more room and bigger gardens – we also had the stamp duty holiday in force which generated a lot of activity before it ended at the end of September.

The fact the market has remained so buoyant since, and in the face of rising prices, is astonishing. However, we expect a more subdued market in the coming months as rising costs put a squeeze on people’s budgets.

Squeezed budgets can also be shown in the marked slowing of building society savings balances in Q1. Many people were still managing to save, but not as much as they did during the pandemic when lockdown meant we were spending less and saving more. The positive is that people remain more engaged with their finances than they were before COVID, but savings levels now look much closer to pre-pandemic levels. It’s of huge benefit to have some kind of savings buffer, particularly in these current times of rising prices but it’s fair to say not everyone has been able to save and there are many people facing the current cost-of-living crisis with little, if any, savings at all and they face extremely difficult times ahead.”