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

Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show £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.

The value of mortgage loans was almost two-thirds higher than March last year, at £6.3bn, and 24% above February. The number of loans rose to 45,000, up a quarter on February and 45% on March 2009.