British home buyers snapped into action in April this year, as mortgage lending shot up to £20.4 billion, 13.3 per cent higher than the same month in 2017.

“These are stronger than expected figures bearing in mind other recent results, not just in terms of lending, but approvals, which demonstrates confidence in the future,” said Jeremy Leaf, former RICS residential chairman. “We are now well into the spring buying season which tends to set the tone for the rest of the year.”

Trade Association UK Finance’s mortgage report showed 26,700 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in April, 3.5 per cent more than in the same month last year. Remortgaging was also highly popular in the month, with new homeowner mortgages up 36 per cent and buy-to-let remortgages up by 32.4 per cent compared with April 2017.

“Remortgaging activity bounced back to strong levels in April, as both homeowners and landlords put their house in order by locking into attractive fixed-rate deals ahead of an anticipated interest rate rise,’ said industry expert Mark Harris. “With the challenger banks eager to carve out market share, and the big lenders realising they need to offer attractgive deals in order to compete, it is good news for borrowers.”