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Nationwide highlights plunge in mortgage lending

While property investors struggled to find the seeds of a recovery it became apparent yesterday, after a Nationwide Building Society survey, that the UK housing market is still in decline. The Nationwide survey showed that house prices fell again last month and also confirmed the fact that net mortgage lending has reduced by 70% in the last six months.

In a further blow for the sector the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors released figures showing that on average each estate agent company in the UK sold just 10.9 properties in the 12 weeks to the end of October. This is the lowest level since 1978 and there are concerns that the situation could get worse before it gets better.

In a blow to the UK government's so-called hardline approach to the bank sector, Graham Beale, the Nationwide chief executive officer, suggested that contrary to government indications there was no small print in the bailout suggesting that mortgage lenders in the UK were obliged to maintain mortgage liquidity at 2007 levels. It is only over the last couple of weeks that we have seen a number of contradictory comments from the banking sector with regards to what the Treasury have been telling the UK public, but who is telling the truth?

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