The trade body for residential mortgages has reported a rise of nearly two fifths in the number of people taking out a mortgage for the first time.

According to data from the Council of Mortgage of Lenders (CML), there was a 38 percent increase in the year to January 2014. With the Government’s Help to Buy scheme and other initiatives helping small deposit holders enter the market, the data collated from lenders will come as welcome news to the Government and mortgage advisers.

The CML did report a fall back throughout January, though this is a seasonal trend. With first time buyer numbers still 30 percent above the figure reported last year, Paul Smee, the trade association’s director general, explained:

“January is always a subdued month in the mortgage market but the underlying trend and strong year on year growth across all borrower groups indicates a strong start to 2014.”

Declaring the property market ‘open for business’, Smee went on to say that lending to home owners was also up, together with a growing trend for buy to let and remortgages.

The figures showed that in the period to January 2014, there were 21,800 mortgages agreed, amounting to a total of £3.1 billion and an average loan value of 82 percent.

That is an increase from the 80 percent reported in January 2013. It also means that mortgages are at the highest value of housing prices since 2008, but still remain some way short of the 90 percent value mortgages were reaching in 2006 and 2007.

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