Positive signs for the market
According to the latest Bank of England figures the number of loan approvals for house purchase was up from the previous six month average of 51,344 to 54,719 in January.
Remortgaging loans told the opposite story, with 25,572 loans approved in January down from an average of 27,527 during the previous six months.
Despite the increases from the six month averages, loan approvals were down from December with overall lending secured on dwellings rising by £0.1 billion in January, compared to the previous six-month average increase of £0.5 billion.
Of this lending BSA figures have shown that mutuals had a 21% market share of gross lending in January, up from 18% in January 2012.
Net mortgage lending by mutuals also increased totalling £394m in January compared to £16m in the same month last year.
According to the Council for Mortgage Lenders the number of first time buyers increased dramatically to its highest level since 2007, with 216,000 first-time buyers in 2012.
Between October and December 2012, first-time buyers also accounted for 42% of all house purchase lending, above the usual 38%.
The strong performance compared to six month averages and increased finance are good news for conveyancers, hopefully the upturn will continue into the next quarter.