E.surv’s latest Mortgage Monitor has reported that there was a sharp increase in mortgage approvals in May.
A total of 66,479 mortgages (seasonally adjusted) were approved in May, 6.4% higher than April’s figure.
First-time buyers and others with small deposits saw their share of the market increase month-on-month.
Some 22.4% of the overall market went to these borrowers during May, significantly higher than the 20.2% rate found in April.
There was a wide variation between the regions of the UK, with some areas boasting a much higher proportion of small deposit borrowers.
In Northern Ireland 35.7% of all loans went to this part of the market while in London this ratio was 13.8%.
As well as growing compared to last month, the UK mortgage market also grew compared to May 2017. There were 0.5% more loans approved this month than a year ago.
E.surv speculated that activity may have been boosted by the rumours that the Bank of England would increase the base rate in May.
While the central bank later chose not to increase the base rate, the speculation may have prompted some people to consider the mortgage options and lock in a low mortgage rate, the charter surveyor said.
The next base rate decision will be made at the end of June.
Richard Sexton (pictured), director at e.surv, said: “There was strong growth in the mortgage market in May, with approvals rising significantly compared to April.
“Mortgages are at the forefront of the national conversation,with many people assessing their options and looking to fix in this rising interest rate environment.
“While the base rate may have stayed at 0.5% in May, speculation continues about the next increase, whichappears to be coming sooner rather than later.”