Nationwide mortgage lending falls almost £1bn

Gross mortgage lending has fallen by almost £1bn at Nationwide, adding to evidence that tighter controls on lending may be curbing borrowing.

Britain’s biggest building society said that the figure was £13.1bn for the six months to September 30, down £900m from the six months to March 30.

New rules, known as the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), were introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority in April to ensure that borrowers could afford to pay back loans.

There is concern that the rules are prompting lenders to restrict mortgages to anyone who will still be paying off their loans into retirement.

Nationwide said it appeared that rises in house prices had begun to slow down. However, it added the housing market “continues to be supported by a strong labour market, low mortgage rates and a demand for housing, which should maintain mortgage quality and prevent any dramatic slowdown in the housing market”.