The latest report from the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed a whopping 38% year-on-year rise in the number of loans provided to first-time buyers in January 2014. With a combined value of £3.1 billion, this figure is up a staggering 55% compared to the same period last year.

Lending for home-owner purchases also improved, seeing a 30% increase in January 2013 and recording a 43% year-on-year growth to £8 billion in money terms.

On a monthly basis, loans advanced to both first-time buyers and home owners registered a decline, but CML put it down to a traditional seasonal drop in lending activity.

Earlier in March, the Bank of England said that gross mortgage lending in the UK increased 39% to £16.1 billion in January compared to a year earlier, but fell slightly by 4% versus December 2013.

Local financial institutions provided 21,800 loans to would-be buyers and 48,600 loans to home owners for house purchases in January, the CML claimed.

Remortgage lending volumes and buy-to-let lending for house purchases followed a similar annual uptrend in January, the report also found.

January is usually a month seeing slow mortgage lending activity, but the general trend and the solid annual increase across all borrower groups points to a strong start of the year, building on the solid levels recorded in 2013, CML’s director general Paul Smee commented.

The association also said that the Help to Buy scheme now seems to have an impact on average deposits for first-time buyers; they had a deposit of 18% on average in January, down from 20% in December.

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