The Council of Mortgage Lenders today adds yet more weight to the view that the housing market is in a period of stability if not growth.

Its June figures show a 23% increase in the number of home loans over the past month taking the total to a level not seen for about a year.

The bounce back in loans to first time buyers will come as a welcome relief to house builders in particular. While numbers are still low at 17,200, this represents a sharp rise since the dire days during the winter.

However, the CML remains cautious about the improvements being registered, particularly as the level of activity remains historically low.