As expected, the end of the stamp duty holiday on 24 March led to a surge in activity in the mortgage market during that month.
Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows that the largest increase in lending during March was to first-time buyers, who took out 24,000 loans. This was an increase of 74% compared to February and 57% higher than March 2011.
By value, first-time buyers took out loans worth £3 billion, up 76% from the previous month and 67% from March last year. First-time buyers accounted for 42% of total house purchase loans, the highest proportion since 2001.
Of those first-time buyers taking out a mortgage in March, 63% bought a property valued between £125,000 and £250,000 so were exempt from stamp duty. This compares to an average of around 50% since 2006 (except immediately before and after the end of the previous stamp duty concession).
Almost all first-time buyers (98%) in March took out a repayment loan, the highest since CML records began.