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Nationwide warns of tightening margins as mortgage lending rises

  • 11/02/2019
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Nationwide warns of tightening margins as mortgage lending rises
Nationwide Building Society completed £26.8bn of gross mortgage lending in the nine months to the end of 2018 – up from £24.1bn in the same period of 2017.


As a result the mutual lifted its market share slightly to 12.9 per cent and also upped its net mortgage lending to £6.1bn from £3.9bn.

However, it warned that the mortgage market would remain competitive and hence lending margins would continue to tighten.


Buy-to-let lending up

Residential mortgage lending rose by £1.8bn to hit £23.4bn, while the development of its buy-to-let products saw this sector grow by almost a billion to reach £3.4bn.

It also said it had supported 59,400 first-time buyers during the nine months.

The average loan to value (LTV) of new lending of 71% was consistent with the previous period with the average LTV for its whole book nudging up slightly to 57%.

Arrears performance for residential mortgages also remained stable with the number of cases more than three months in arrears at 0.43% of the total portfolio.

Overall the mutual’s pre-tax profit was down due to £167m investment in technology and asset write-offs.


Nationwide will ‘remain competitive’

Looking toward the start of 2019, chief executive Joe Garner noted that “as consumers continue to benefit from considerable choice, we intend to remain competitive and thus expect lending margins will continue to moderate.”

Reflecting on the end of 2018, Garner said: “In September we took the conscious decision to increase significantly our investment in the society in the full knowledge that it would impact profitability in the short-to medium-term but would be of long-term benefit to our members.

“Underlying profit for the first nine months of the year, at £691m, is broadly flat year on year, excluding a charge of £167m relating to asset write-offs and additional technology spend.

“This investment is to ensure we can continue to meet our members’ changing needs in an increasingly digital future.

“At the same time, consistent with member feedback, we remain committed to and are investing in our presence on the high street.”


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