MORTGAGE lenders in The number of home loans being approved has reached a five-year high, with 54,100 people securing finance to buy a house last year, according to figures released by the Council Of Mortgage Lenders in
In total, bank and building society lending rose to pound(s)6.5 billion by the end of 2013, the highest figure since 2008, when pound(s)7bn was made available.
The statistics follow upbeat reports from estate agents, chartered surveyors and house price analysts in recent weeks that have all found reasons to be cheerful about the fortunes of the Scottish property market.
Earlier this month, property data firm LSL/Acadata Scotland branded 2013 the "year of recovery", while the Office Of National Statistics said its data showed modest house prices were rising.
Fresh interest in property is being fuelled by more homes coming on the market and low interest rates, easier lending conditions, competitively-priced mortgages and Government Help To Buy schemes, which provide easy credit to first-time buyers.
He said: "The strong upward trend in lending gives grounds for optimism, suggesting improved mortgage availability and economic recovery are creating greater activity in the Scottish housing market. First-time buyers have been a crucial driver throughout 2013, and the CML anticipates this growth in the market will continue into 2014."
Lending was particularly strong towards the end of 2013, with 6700 home loans advanced to first-time buyers in
This is the largest number in a single quarter since the fourth quarter of 2007, and an increase of 3% on the third quarter of 2013, and up 26% on quarter four 2012.
A spokeswoman for
She said: "This is welcome news for the Scottish housing market and is in line with what
"We also exceeded our 2013 lending commitment to new-to-market buyers across the
"With consumer and business confidence increasing, our members look forward to translating this upturn in market demand into the building of much-needed new homes, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth."
MORTGAGE lenders in
The number of home loans being approved has reached a five-year high, with 54,100 people securing finance to buy a house last year, according to figures released by the Council Of Mortgage Lenders in