Lending secured on properties leapt by £3.7bn in January, well over the average monthly increase of £3.4bn over the previous six months, official figures show.
Loan approvals in the first month of 2016 also outpaced the monthly average over the past six months, at 74,581 compared to 70,221. Remortgaging approvals totalled 42,228 compared to a monthly average of 40,306 over the past six months, while approvals for other purposes were in line with their six-month average at 11,900.
The bank’s consumer credit figures, which includes credit cards, other loans and advances, also rose by £1.6bn in January to £179.5bn. This is compared to an average monthly increase of £1.3bn over the previous six months.
Steve Griffiths, head of sales and distribution at Kensington, said: “These figures show a strong start to the year for lending, as well as a move towards a ‘new normal’ for this sector.”
Stephen Smith, director, Legal and General Housing Partnerships, added that it was “clear” that demand for home ownership is still rising.
“Remortgaging has also seen a relative increase for the second month in a row, with more homeowners taking advantage of the competitive deals currently on offer. We expect to see these figures continue to climb as many potential second home owners and landlords hurry to complete before the Stamp Duty changes are implemented in April.
“That being said, if house prices continue to rise at their current rate, there will be a long term negative effect on the housing market, with further price rises only exacerbating this issue further.”