The statistics from the CML tallies with data from the Bank of England that showed a modest recovery in the market, although the council reported that buy-to-let lending fell slightly from 15,200 to 14,900 loans in the same month.
The decrease, coupled with a 7 per cent drop in remortgage lending from July to August, pulled down the overall figure for lending from £16.7bn to £16.4bn.
However overall lending was still 28 per cent higher than in August last year, with loans to first-time buyers rising by one-third to 27,100 in the year, and up 7 per cent since July.
First-time buyers borrowed more relative to income in August compared to July at 3.36 times average borrower income in August compared to 3.31 in July.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, said: “The healthy growth in all lending areas compared to the same time last year is indicative of more confidence in the market.
“The high number of borrowers, in particular first-time buyers, opting for fixed rates reflects the attractive pricing currently on products which can provide helpful stability to borrowers for the next few years.”
Similar conclusions were drawn by the Bank in its 15-page Credit Conditions Survey which found that demand for house purchase lending had increased significantly in the third quarter of 2013 with a further rise predicted for the rest of the year.
However, unlike the CML’s update, the Bank found that demand for overall remortgage lending had increased from July to September.
Loans for home-owner house purchase and remortgage
Number of house
Value of house
purchase loans, £m
Value of remortgage
Source: Council of Mortgage Lenders
Rob Simpson, managing director of West Midlands-based Simpson Financial Services, said: “I do not know if accessing mortgages is getting easier but Help to Buy will mean more viable lenders will increase competition in the market. You may start to see mortgage rates come down as they are currently a lot higher than the Bank base rate.”