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Mortgage approvals reach a four year high

Approvals rose 17% from 55,785 in December to 65,184 in January,

Falling mortgage rates and an increasingly wide range of mortgages resulted in a four year high of mortgage approvals in January, according to research released this morning by e.surv chartered surveyors.

Their figures show that mortgage approvals rose 17 per cent from 55,785 in December 2012 to 65,184 in January 2013, making it the strongest month for house purchase lending since February 2008 and  a 13 per cent improvement on January 2012.

Lending to borrowers with a deposit of less than 15 per cent increased by nearly a third between December and January and one in eithg of all house purchase loans in January went to high loan-to-value (LTV) borrowers, the highest proportion since February 2012.

"After an inauspicious start last autumn, Funding for Lending has come good," said Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv. "It has flooded lenders’ balance sheets with cheaper funds which has encouraged them to reduce mortgage rates to record lows and roll out a much wider range of mortgages for high loan-to-value borrowers. It is helping clear the logjam in the first-time buyer market."