LONDON (SHARECAST) - Mortgage deposits have fallen below 20 per cent for first-time buyers, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed today.
The latest reading of 19% is the lowest it has been in over three years, since November 2008.
The CML also announced that mortgage lending to all house buyers was slightly higher in July, with the number of mortgages reaching 49,500, up 5% on both the previous month and the same month the previous year.
It said this increase was the result of a rise in the number of people moving house that month.
Significantly, mortgage borrowing has remained subdued at just 50% of the levels seen prior to the financial crisis in 2007.
"July's figures show a gradual improvement in the market, with lending approaching the sort of levels we saw at the end of the stamp duty concession," the Director General of the CML, Paul Smee, said.
"While overall market conditions remain tight, new initiatives such as Funding for Lending and NewBuy have the potential to help lending to continue to ease gradually."
The CML also said that remortgage lending rose slightly in July compared to June, but was 20% down on the same period in 2011. Lending totalled £3.2bn in July, up from £3.1bn in June, but still significantly short of the £4bn advanced for remortgaging in July last year.