Gross lending hit an all-time January high of £26.8bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
This was down by 6 per cent on the £28.5bn lent in December, but is up by 16 per cent on January 2006.
CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Mortgage lending kicked-off 2007 in robust shape, and we expect this strength to continue over the next few months. Quite how strong it will be later in the year depends on what happens to interest rates.
“While we avoided a rate rise earlier this month, the markets are still expecting at least one more quarter point rise by the middle of the year. And, because of this uncertainty, it would be surprising if some home buyers did not review the timing of their decision to move.”