The number of house purchase loans rose by 5% in July in a further sign of gradual improvement in the mortgage market, lenders have said.
There were 49,500 loans advanced for house purchase in the month worth £7.6 billion, while remortgage loans rose by 3% to 24,100, the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed.
First-time buyer activity also remained resilient following the volatility in March and April after a two-year stamp duty concession for this sector came to an end.
A total of 19,000 loans were advanced to first-time buyers, a 1% drop but stronger than the same time last year. These loans were valued at £2.5 billion.
CML director general Paul Smee said initiatives such as the Government's Funding for Lending and NewBuy schemes have the potential to help lending.
He added: "July's figures show a gradual improvement in the market with lending approaching the sort of levels we saw at the end of the stamp duty concession."