Mortgage borrowing up 38pc

Higher capital repayment (in part reflecting homeowners switching lenders) contributed to monthly contractions in net borrowing through much of 2013.

However since the turn of the year, the overall mortgage stock has started to rise as greater demand feeds through.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “Confidence is pervading the economy, but home lending has fallen back.

“Lenders are trialling their MMR ready systems in the run up to the full roll-out of regulation. They are tightening up affordability checks, training staff and putting in place lengthier advisory processes. House purchase lending has dipped as a result.

“Even so, Help to Buy has re-opened the housing market to a whole host of borrowers who couldn’t afford to save proportionally larger deposits.

“Borrowers predict prices will keep rising, and they are keen to get onto the ladder while they can.

“Now the equity loan scheme has been extended until 2020, and there’s a sense of certainty. Help to Buy is here to stay. High LTV lending will continue.”