Building societies see savings increase

More and more people are putting their savings into building societies, according to new figures released today.

During December 2005 mutuals took £1,138 million in net inflows, up on £998 million during the same month in 2004. Gross advances also rose on last year to £3,614 million compared to £3,108 million in December 2004.

Mortgage approvals also climbed during the festive month, with societies endorsing £3,154 million worth of loans compared to £2,572 the year before.

“Net savings inflows in 2005 were the highest since 1997 and the second highest since 1988,” said Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association.

“Clearly people trust building societies to offer good value and a safe home for their savings. Overindebtedness grabs the headlines, but these figures show that many people are sensibly looking after their future.”

He said that the property market’s performance in 2005 showed “that a soft landing is achievable”, and predicted that 2006 would be a “benign” year for house prices.

“With the wide range of mortgage products available and no letting up of competition in the market, there will be some good deals for house buyers this year,” Mr Coles added.

© Adfero Ltd

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