UK mortgage lending increased by 21 per cent in March, reaching £11.3 billion compared to the £9.3 billion seen in February, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed.
However, despite the rise last month, the level of lending was down two per cent on March 2010.
"The housing market has emerged hesitantly from hibernation. Household finances are under a lot of pressure," said CML chief economist Bob Pannell.
"Lenders expect mortgage credit availability to improve this quarter, and this should help to underpin house purchase activity albeit at pretty low levels."
Meanwhile, the latest mortgage index from brokers John Charcol has revealed that the trend of more borrowers choosing a fixed rate to buy property in the UK has been reversed.
The firm noted that there is now virtually a 50-50 split between fixed and variable rates. It follows news that estate agents in the UK have reported a surge in demand for new property ahead of the Easter Holidays.