Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide has warned the housing market is showing signs of slowing down after posting a major drop in mortgage lending.
The firm said net lending to home buyers in the final three months of last year was £4.7bn, down 43pc on £8.2bn for the same period last year.
Nationwide blamed fierce competition and a fall in demand. Joe Garner, chief executive at Nationwide, said he expected house prices to be “broadly flat in 2018” or show “a marginal gain of around 1pc”.
He added: “Consumer spending, which has been a key driver of growth, has slowed noticeably, and almost three quarters of those surveyed in our Brexit Consumer Panel expressed concern about the rising cost of goods and services.
“Modest economic growth is also likely to hold back the housing market and house price growth.”