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Increase in mortgage approvals for first-time buyers

14-Apr-2009

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that there was an increase in the number of first-time buyers who were given mortgages in February.

Approved mortgages for new buyers increased by seven per cent in February compared to January.

The average value of the loans given in February was £2,000 lower than in January and £19,000 lower than February 2008.

This reflects both the growth in first-time buyersdeposits and the fall in house prices.

According to Nationwide's House Price Index for March, house prices have fallen by 15.7 per cent in the last year.

But the latest index from the building society also showed that in March house prices rose for the first time since October 2007, by 0.9 per cent.

The figures also reported that mortgage approvals were at their highest since May 2008.

Michael Coogan, director general at CML, said the figures showed "some signs of improvement at the beginning of the borrowing process".

According to the data from CML, mortgage payments for first-time buyers used five per cent less of their income each month in February compared to 12 months ago. This is the lowest proportion since June 2004.

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