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First time buyers 'driving mortgage market forward'

signsFirst-time buyers have been 'driving the mortgage market forward' in the past year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). The number of loans made to first-time buyers was up by 23% in 2013 compared with 2012 but, on average, these borrowers still needed to find a 20% deposit.

The total number of loans to first-time buyers reached 268,800, the CML said: about 44% of all loans advanced for house purchases.

The total amount of money borrowed by homeowners last year was still less than half of that seen at the peak of the housing boom in 2007.

First-time buyer numbers picked up strongly towards the end of the year, which the CML said was healthy for the market as a whole.

'Good housing market recoveries start because first-time buyers re-enter the market," says Paul Smee, CML director general. However, CML figures show that first-time buyers were borrowing a greater multiple of their income in 2013 (3.33 times) than they did tin 2012 (3.26 times).