CML report increased first time buyer activity during March

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) released data this week showing an increase of 20 per cent in the number of first time buyers during March.
The increase in loans to first time buyers from 15,900 in February to 19,100 in March, and a slight increase in home mover numbers both contributed to a monthly house purchase lending jump.  Remortgage lending, although increased when compared to February, remained fairly flat throughout the first quarter, according to the CML data.
The figures for Q1 of 2013 show that despite the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of Q1 2012, the number of loans advanced to first time buyers was only slightly down, from 51,200 to 50,900.
Commenting on the data, CML Director General Paul Smee said:
"First-time buyer activity in the first quarter was nearly at the same level as last year — when figures were buoyed up by the end of the stamp duty holiday. This suggests that the market continues to be favourable for those looking to buy their first home.
"More borrowers are taking out higher loan-to-value mortgages than any other time in the last four years – a sign that lenders are open for business, and that borrowers, even those without a large deposit, are increasingly able to get a foot on the property ladder."
Could this be a sign of an improvement in the property market?  If the Estate Agents and Solicitors who are prominent on Twitter are to be believed things have already improved greatly.
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