First-time buyers up 20 per cent in March

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The Independent Online

The number of first-time buyers jumped 20 per cent in March as the Bank of England's Funding for Lending scheme helped the mortgage market.

Banks and building societies advanced 19,100 loans to first-time buyers in March, up from 15,900 in February, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In the first quarter, one in four first-time buyers put down a deposit of 10 per cent or less, up from one in five a year ago.

Paul Smee, the CML's director general, said: "More borrowers are taking out higher loan-to-value mortgages than at any other time in the last four years."