National Counties increases lending by 49pc

Of this lending 8% went to help first-time buyers through its Family First mortgage which is designed to allow families to help younger borrowers.

Keith Barber, associate director business development at National Counties Building Society, said: “I’m delighted to report how well the society has performed in 2012, despite challenging market conditions.

“As evidenced by the last 12 months we are committed to improving our range of products to meet the needs of our members, both new and existing.”