Nationwide has announced that it has increased its gross mortgage lending by 44% in the year to 4th April 2012. Gross mortgage lending over the year was £18.4 billion, a rise from £12.8 billion in the previous year. This compares with a market increase of 5%.
Over 24,000 first time buyers were approved for mortgages, an increase of 9% on last year, when 22,200 were approved.
Graham Beale, Nationwide Chief Executive commented:
“Our commitment to the mortgage market has remained strong: in a market which grew by only 5% over the past twelve months, Nationwide increased its gross lending by 44% to £18.4 billion (2011: £12.8 billion). Our net mortgage lending was £2.7 billion.
“We have been particularly supportive of first time buyers, providing mortgages that helped over 24,000 people to buy their first home, an increase of 9% year on year (2011: 22,200). This was underpinned by a number of product initiatives, and we were one of the founding lenders participating in the launch of the recent NewBuy scheme.
“Nationwide is a leading provider of specialist mortgages in the UK through our subsidiary The Mortgage Works, supporting an expanding rental sector. We have increased our lending in high quality ‘buy to let’ to £4.4 billion (2011: £3.0 billion), taking our specialist lending book to over £23 billion (2011: £20 billion).
“We have maintained our Base Mortgage Rate (BMR) pledge, ensuring the majority of our mortgage customers have access to a rate capped at 2% above Bank of England (BoE) base rate. We estimate the customer benefit of our BMR pledge has been in the region of £750 million over the past year, equating to an average of over £1,000 net benefit for each account per annum.”
Residential loans account for 83.8% of Nationwide’s total loans to customers.
As the instability on the eurozone causes credit ratings to be downgraded, the news from Nationwide of their growth in the mortgage sector brings some optimism that the market can weather the storm.
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