July gross mortgage lending up 27pc

Within this, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, house purchase lending rose by 11% from £9.7bn in June to £10.8bn in July while remortgaging rose 16% from £4.3bn in June to £4.9bn in July.

Bob Pannell, chief economist at the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said: “A monthly increase of over £1bn in house purchase lending reinforces the picture of a housing market that is firmly in recovery mode.

“However, as the governor of the Bank of England remarked just two days ago, lending levels remain well below their pre-crisis levels.”

The number of mortgage approvals

By number, total mortgage lending transactions rose nearly 13%, from around 108,600 in June to 122,300 in July.

Total mortgage approvals, non seasonally adjusted, reached 17,036 in July, around a 10% increase on approvals in June which stood at 15,468.

House purchase approvals made up the majority of this figure at 10,907, with remortgages at 5,566 and miscellaneous approvals at 563.

Sophie Hall, head of intermediary at Avelo, said: “The first half of the year saw the mortgage market provide a bright spark for the rest of the UK economy. So far, it is not showing any signs of burning out in the second half of 2013.

“The normally stagnant summer months are passing us by and have left buyer activity unscathed as first-time buyers clamour to take advantage of record low interest rates and government support.

“In fact many brokers are having to take steps to bolster their work force to cover the growing demand.”

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The mortgage market is now much more accessible to first-time buyers which has triggered a ripple of activity all the way up the housing ladder.

“The choice of mortgages available to borrowers is at its highest since the financial crisis which has opened up the market to a much wider spectrum of people.”

But Sexton warned the improvements may be artificial and unsustainable in the long-term.

He added: “Help to Buy and the Funding for Lending Scheme have given the market a shot of adrenalin which has disguised underlying problems like a chronic lack of house building but they can’t continue indefinitely.

“A critical shortfall in house building threatens to inflate a house price bubble which is why the government must make building homes a priority.”