Mortgage lending soared to a five-year high last month, the latest industry figures have revealed.
According to estimates published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), around £16.6 billion was advanced to purchase and remortgage borrowers during July, as mortgage rates remained at record lows and reports of improved confidence emerged in the UK's wider economy.
This marks the fifth consecutive monthly increase and is up 12% on June 2013 and a 29% rise when compared to July 2012.
The news is the latest in a number of industry reports highlighting a recovery within the mortgage and housing markets.
Last week, LSL Property Services reported that prices climbed to an all-time high in July, surpassing the previous peak reached at the height of the housing boom in February 2008, while Halifax announced house price increases of 4.6% in the three months to July when compared to a year ago, and Nationwide Building Society recorded the biggest year-on-year rise in nearly three years, at 3.9%.
Commenting on the figures, market and data analyst at the CML, Caroline Purdey, said a sense of renewed optimism in the economy was helping to drive house buyer activity.
"An improvement in sentiment continues to show in the UK's housing and mortgage markets, with a more positive picture also starting to emerge in the economy," she said.
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