By Daniel Hunter

Gross mortgage lending by building societies and mutual lenders was £2.4bn in January 2013 - up by 25% compared to same month the previous year.

“The financial results from a series of building societies indicate that each had a successful year, and that mutuals continue to thrive," Stephen Williams, head of the Building Societies Practice at Deloitte, said.

"The upward trends in gross lending continues from 2012 - where gross mortgage lending by societies and mutuals hit £30.7 billion, up by 30% compared to 2011 — and is set to continue this year. Mutuals in 2012 had a 22% share of the mortgage market, up from 17% in 2011.

“There has also been a welcome renaissance in lending to first-time buyers and 216,200 became homeowners last year, which the building societies significantly contributed to.

"This was the first time that there were more than 200,000 first-time buyers in one year since 2007. It was also part of a wider shift from an emphasis on remortgaging in 2011 to more home buying activity in 2012, and I expect this trend to continue this year.”

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