A scramble to get on the property ladder before the end of a duty concession has sparked a 7% jump in loans to first-time buyers, lenders said.
The withdrawal of the two-year amnesty on stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000 starts on March 24.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said that figures showed its members advanced 18,700 loans worth £2.3bn in December.
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