Gross lending by building societies and other mutuals in 2011 was £23.6 billion in 2011, its trade association has reported.
According to the Building Societies Association (BSA), gross lending was up 16% compared to 2010.
Gross lending by mutuals in December was £2.1 billion, up 15% compared to December 2010.
There was a 19% rise in mortgage approvals in 2011 at £23.1 billion, while £1.8 billion of mortgages were approved in December, up 49% on December 2010.
Adrian Coles, director-general of the Building Societies Association, said: “Activity in the housing market has been weak throughout 2011 with the number of transactions close to an all time low. New lending by mutuals