CML figures show that remortgaging accounted for 37% of all lending in the quarter, an increase from 30% in the last quarter of 2010.
Remortgaging in the first quarter of 2011 saw an increase of 22% in volume and 17% in value against the same period from last year.
First-time buyers were advanced 14,600 mortgages worth £1.7bn in March an increase of 28% in volume and 31% in value from February but a fall of 17% in volume and 16% in value compared to March 2010.
Home movers also saw an increase from February with 23,200 mortgages, worth £3.7bn up 22% in volume and 23% by value however a decrease when compared to March 2010 down 17% by volume and 16% by value.
Lending criteria throughout the first quarter stayed relatively unchanged for both first-time buyers and home movers.
Michael Coogan, director general of CML, said: “We saw a significant increase in both house purchase and remortgage lending in March but over the first quarter of the year as a whole the picture was subdued and that is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.
"Looking ahead to lending figures in the coming months, the Easter, royal wedding and May bank holidays will impact on the level of activity, timing and spread of completions in the second quarter meaning that any one month’s data should not be interpreted as a reflection of a trend. It may take until publication of the second quarter's activity to get a full understanding of how the market has reacted to the squeeze on household incomes.”