Its Q1 results showed gross buy-to-let volumes at just under half last years’ results at £0.8bn compared to £1.7bn in Q1 2016.
“[This] partially reflects the trend seen in the overall buy-to-let market which has decreased by 23% over the 12 month period to March 2017”, said the report.
However, the overall lending trend is steady, with gross mortgage lending of £7.3bn of prime residential mortgages up from £6.9bn in Q1 2016/17.
Last year, Nationwide was the second biggest UK gross mortgage lender with £35.3bn of lending and 14.4% market share and the only other top five lender alongside RBS to gain market traction.
Nationwide Building Society chief executive Joe Garner said: “Profit performance in the first quarter remained comfortably within our strategic target range and, after allowing for one-off items, was broadly consistent with the prior period.”
“Research conducted for our Brexit Consumer Support Panel shows that the majority of consumers expect Brexit to leave their ability to access credit unchanged,” said Garner.
“It will be important for lenders to balance carefully credit supply with affordability as we seek to support the long-term interests of consumers in a responsible way through any potential economic slowdown ahead.”
In terms of outlook, Nationwide said: “We expect the economy to slow a little further this year as rising inflation squeezes household budgets.”
The largest mutual reported profits falls before tax of £322m, down from £401m in Q1 2017 and underlying profit before tax of £301m, also down from £368m in the same period last year.
Its member deposit balances increased by £1.3bn in the period which was half the equivalent period of growth last year, however, more people opened a current account with Nationwide than with any other provider.