The first-time buyer mortgage sector showed signs of an up-turn during February, with advances issued to those entering the property market accounting for 43% of all home loans taken out.
New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed a total of 16,400 mortgages were advanced to first-time buyers, up by 3% compared with in January and 17% higher than during the same month last year.
Total lending to those purchasing their first home reached £2 billion, an impressive 18% higher than in February 2012, suggesting that a number of Government lending initiatives launched over recent months to assist the market, are beginning to bear fruit.
Although the first-time buyer sector showed some signs of improvement, lending activity within other areas of the market was disappointing.
The number of loans issued to home movers dropped for the third consecutive month, with total lending coming in at £3.5 billion, down 4% compared with January's figures. Remortgage lending also stalled during the second month of 2013, with £2.6 billion advanced compared with £3 billion the previous month.
Commenting on the findings, director general of the CML, Paul Smee, said: "First-time buyers are continuing to take advantage of more favourable market conditions, helping to drive the underlying trend for resilient house purchase lending.
"We hope that the new initiatives announced by the government in the 2013 Budget will further stimulate first-time buyer activity but also help those 'second steppers' looking to move into a new or existing home."
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