The number of mortgages approved for purchases hit 46,521 up from 45,394 in November. However the figure was well below the predicted 47,300.
David Dooks, statistics director at the BBA, said new mortgage borrowing in December was still 38% higher than it was in the same month of 2012 and the total amount of home loans approved last year was higher than in any year since 2008.
He said: "This provides further evidence of a more active housing market, helped by growing consumer confidence and Government support schemes such as Help to Buy.
The value of mortgage approvals, at the same time, totalled £ 7.7bn, up from £7.3bn a month ago.
Gross mortgage borrowings in December increased to £11.2bn from £10.5bn in November