The figure was actually down 10 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2013 - a seasonal dip impacting lending, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders, who released their latest data today.
Loans taken out rose 22 per cent, to 20,800, with the number seasonally down 13 per cent from the end of 2013, and down 10 per cent in value.
Although first-time buyer lending leapt 29 per cent from a year ago, to 11,900 loans, the affordability picture’s not overly rosy: those totalled £2.7bn, so a 49 per cent increase in value from a year ago.
Earlier today, Nationwide said, over the past financial year, the number of mortgages it advanced with a deposit of 10 per cent of less accounted for just 2.4 per cent of its total lending. Those numbers account for first-time buyers, and the lender said it’s watching the market closely, because of the rapidly rising prices being seen - particularly in the capital.
From the CML:
The typical first-time buyer in Greater London borrowed 3.83 times their gross income in the first quarter of 2014, which was higher than the UK average of 3.42. This was an increase from the last quarter of 2013 when it was 3.79 and up from 3.60 in the first quarter of 2013.
The typical loan size for first-time buyers in Greater London was £200,000, which was more than the UK average of £118,750 in the same period. First time buyers' typical household income went up slightly to £52,600 from the £52,568 average in Greater London in the fourth quarter of 2013.
First-time buyers spent 20.7 per cent of the gross income on capital and interest payments, the group said, higher than the UK average of 19.3 per cent, but down slightly on the first quarter of last year.