The average loan-to-value has reached its highest level since April 2008, according to surveyors e.surv.
It is now 60.8 per cent, a sixth consecutive monthly increase, and is up from 56.2 per cent in March 2010.
The surveyor says the volume of approvals in the 75 per cent to 85 per cent LTV bracket grew by twice the rate of the overall market since October, while the 85 per cent 90 per cent bracket has grown by a third faster than the overall market.
Mortgage approvals rose by 4.3 per cent in March, rising from 46,967 in February to 48,979. It is the third consecutive month of growth.
E.surv business development director Richard Sexton says: “More people are getting higher LTV mortgage loans, and approvals on cheaper properties have increased, which is a sure indication that more first-time buyers are finally getting onto the housing ladder.
“Rents have reached record levels and with higher LTV products available for the best borrowers, it is no wonder more first-timers are grasping the nettle while rates are still cheap.”