Gross mortgage lending was £10.5bn in January, up 10 per cent from a year ago, according to figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
January lending was down 14 per cent from £12.2bn in December 2011.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell said some of the activity could be the result of buyers purchasing homes before the 1 per cent stamp duty - for first-time buyers on purchases of £250,000 or less - is reintroduced on 24 March.
Pannell said, in Monday's CML market commentary:
Should inflationary pressures continue to fall back, the squeeze on household finances should ease progressively and help support stronger economic recovery going into the second half of the year. This can only be good news for the housing market further down the track.
January marked the sixth consecutive month of higher year-on-year mortgage lending.