Latest figures from Council of Mortgage Lenders reveals £2bn of loans were advanced to first-time buyers in March

The value of mortgage loans for first-time buyers rose by a quarter in March on the previous month, and is now up by more than half on the previous year.

According to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, £2bn of home loans were advanced to first-time buyers in March, up 54% on last year, for a total of 17,300 mortgages. The average loan-to-value rose above 75% for the second consecutive month, the first time this has happened since January last year.

In total the value of mortgage loans rose by almost two-thirds on the level in March last year to £6.3bn, a rise of 24% on February. The number of loans was also up sharply, by a quarter on February and 45% on the previous March, to 45,000.

However, despite the positive figures Michael Coogan, director general of the CML, said: "For the sake of the future health of the housing and mortgage markets, the new government will need to address the issues arising from the repayment of the emergency support provided during the financial crisis. The UK is at risk of a chronic under-supply of credit - and the rationing of mortgages for customers - for years to come."