First-time house buyers get a foot in the door

Lenders are finally opening their doors to first-time buyers after the biggest jump in loans for nearly three years in November, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said today.

Banks and building societies advanced 21,700 loans to first-time buyers worth £2.7bn, an 8 per cent rise compared with October and up 24 per cent on a year earlier.

They accounted for 41 per cent of loans, above the usual 38 per cent average, in signs that the Bank of England's Funding for Lending is beginning to have an impact. The CML's director general, Paul Smee, said the figures were "encouraging".