The number of home loans approved to people purchasing their first property climbed by monthly by 20% during March, latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have found.
A total of 19,100 mortgages were issued to first-time buyers, valued at £2.4 billion, reflecting an increase from the 15,900 recorded in February.
Whilst the average loan-to-value (LTV) remained at 80%, a higher number of borrowers were approved for mortgages with maximum LTVs of 90% and over. One in four first-time buyers took out a mortgage with a deposit of 10% or less during quarter one of this year, up from one in five during the same period last year.
Additional research by Moneyfacts.co.uk found the number of high LTV mortgages has risen over past year. A total of 349 90% LTV mortgages are currently available, compared with 313 this time last year.
During the height of the credit crisis four years ago, this figure stood at just 71.
Such encouraging findings suggest mortgage lenders are broadening their high LTV product ranges to borrowers who, up until now, have struggled to get a foot hold on the property ladder due to large deposit requirements.
Director general of the CML, Paul Smee, said: "First-time buyer activity in the first quarter was nearly at the same level as last year, when figures were buoyed up by the end of the stamp duty holiday.
"This suggests that the market continues to be favourable for those looking to buy their first home."
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