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First-time mortgages at highest since 2007

By Vicky Shaw

Mortgage lending to first-time buyers increased to its strongest level since 2007 in May despite the introduction of stricter rules around the way home loans are handed out, figures from banks and building societies show.

First-time buyers took out 26,800 mortgages worth a collective £3.9bn in May, marking the biggest number of loans advanced to people taking their first step on the property ladder since November 2007, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The typical first-time buyer now requires a 16% deposit, which is the lowest average deposit share needed since 2008.

The average loan size of a first-time buyer loan also lifted to a new peak of £123,200 in May, edging up from a figure of £121,500 in April which had also been a record high.

By value, lending to first-time buyers is up by 30% compared with May 2013 as well as an 11% increase compared with April this year.

At the end of April, a mortgage lending clampdown was introduced across the industry with the aim of preventing any return to irresponsible lending.

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