Despite the apparent slump in the UK property market, Nationwide Building Society’s gross mortgage lending figures have increased by 48% to £8.9 Billion (GBP) in the six months to September.

Despite the dwindling number of First-Time Buyers (FTB) in the UK property marketplace, Nationwide lent them more than £1.2 Billion (GBP) in the first half of this year, 3% more than last year.

Over the same period, Nationwide’s subsidiary The Mortgage Works (TMW) doubled its gross mortgage lending to £2.6 Billion (GBP).

Nationwide’s Chief Executive Graham Beale, said: “It is particularly pleasing to see a 48% increase in our gross mortgage lending, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting growth in the economy as well as meeting the needs of our borrowers”.

Nationwide also reported a 17% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £172 Million (GBP) in the six months to the end of September 2011, compared with the same period in 2010.

Even though historically low Bank of England (BoE) interest rates are making life difficult for savers, the building society saw a 250% increase in the rate of cash deposited in its savings accounts to £1.4 Billion (GBP), making it the second largest savings provider in the UK.

Despite the positive results, Nationwide expects conditions to remain difficult until the current Eurozone crisis is resolved and the UK economy stabilises.

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