The housing market is believed to be edging its way closer to recovery, after the amount of mortgage lending to people buying a property improved on an annual basis for the first time since early 2007.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), July saw an 18% increase in first time buyer mortgage loans compared with the previous month and were up 22% on a year earlier.
Loans to home movers jumped 28% on the June figure and 17% on 2008.
Meanwhile, it was also revealed that over three quarters of mortgages taken out in July were fixed rate mortgages, with borrowers locking in to an average rate of 4.7%, well below the average of 5.57% seen over the past decade
"What we are seeing is a market inching its way back to recovery," said Gary Smith, president of the National Association of Estate Agents. "First time buyers have returned and now these figures show that house movers are also returning to the market; families wishing to upgrade or young couples needing a bigger house to raise a family.
"There is a long way to go before things stabilise - and a real need for sensible Government policies and responsible lending - but indicators do suggest that the bottom has been reached and that the slow process of recovery may have begun."
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