Gross mortgage lending was an estimated £15.5 billion in January, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
This is down 8 per cent compared to the gross lending total of December 2013; however, it is a third higher than January 2013 (£11.6 billion).
Commenting on market conditions, CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: “Housing market indicators in the UK continue to be positive, although seasonal factors are likely to have affected activity levels. Monthly approvals for house purchase averaged 70,000 in the final quarter of 2013, the strongest for six years.
“The Bank of England envisages that approvals may climb to 90,000 a month in the second and third quarters of 2014. This would seem to imply property transactions running at an annual rate of one and a half million or so. We think this may be over-optimistic given the growing anecdotal reports of a shortage of prospective sellers.”