Mutual mortgage approvals up 33pc

The figures show there was an 18% rise in mortgage approvals for the first nine months of 2011 at £17.1bn, an increase of £2.6bn from the same period the previous year.

Gross mortgage lending by mutuals increased 4% to £2.3bn in September, up from £2.2bn in September 2010.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: “Although the UK economic outlook remains challenging, mutual lenders continue to support homebuyers by providing attractive mortgage products.

“This has led to a 33% increase in mortgage approvals in September, compared to the same time last year. Mortgage approvals indicate how gross lending will change in coming months.

“Over the first three quarters of the year gross lending by mutuals was up 14% on the previous year, and the growth in approvals suggests that this trend will continue into the final quarter of 2011.”