Mortgage lending hits 4-year high
Building society Nationwide said its mortgage lending soared to a four-year high as the Bank of England's £80 billion scheme helped reduce rates for borrowers.
Nationwide reported a 15 per cent hike in gross mortgage lending to £10.2 billion in the six months to September 30, with loans to first-time buyers nearly doubling.
Its lending figures should make for encourage reading at the Bank of England, which jointly launched the Funding for Lending scheme with the Treasury earlier this year in an attempt to help ease the flow of credit to mortgage and business borrowers.
Nationwide said net mortgage lending – which strips out loan redemptions and repayments – more than doubled in the first half, up from £1.4 billion to £3.2 billion, with almost a third of its lending in the first half to customers buying their first home.
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Chief executive Graham Beale said: "We have continued to demonstrate that we are on the side of first-time buyers by doubling our lending to this vital sector of the housing market and helping almost 20,000 borrowers into a home of their own."
Nationwide said the Funding for Lending scheme, which offers cheap funding to banks and building societies on the condition they increase lending, was having a significant impact on mortgage pricing, with "very attractive" rates on offer.