Jump in mortgages for first time buyers

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THE number of mortgages handed out to first-time buyers in January jumped by 38% on a year earlier, banks and building societies have reported.

The pick-up came amid signs that people taking their first step on the property ladder are starting to put down smaller deposits due to the Government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

A total of 21,800 loans worth £3.1 billion were advanced to first-time buyers in January, marking a 38% increase on the same month in 2013, according to the CML’s figures.

But the latest number of first-time buyer loans also represents an 18% slide on the previous month’s total, which had been a six-year high. Some 26,700 loans were handed out to first-time buyers in December, marking the highest monthly figure seen since late 2007.

The figures were released as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) reported that the surge in demand from potential buyers piling into the market as a result of schemes like Help to Buy is starting to show signs of slowing down.