The number of home loans advanced to people entering the property market for the first time rose annually by 24% during January, despite weeks of bad weather.
A total of 15,900 first-time buyer mortgages were approved during the first month of this year, representing the largest volume recorded in January since 2008. For the third consecutive month, first-time buyer loans made up 42% of all mortgages advanced.
The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) clearly indicate that Government initiatives to encourage lending to individuals, such as its £80 billion Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), are providing a much-needed boost to the ailing first-time buyer market.
Director general of the CML, Paul Smee, said: "Seasonal factors clearly had an impact on lending figures in January, but it still remains the best start to a year since 2008.
"Mortgage finance is available and lenders are open for business, allowing more borrowers to take the step into homeownership or move house in line with their needs."
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