There were 66,614 mortgages approved in the UK in March 2018, according to the latest e.surv Mortgage Monitor.
The seasonally adjusted figure is up 4.2 per cent compared to February but is down 1.3 per cent on March last year.
Those with smaller deposits accounted for 19.6 per cent of mortgage approvals in the period, 21.1 per cent down on February’s figures but higher than November and December, when the figures were 17.2 per cent and 18.2 per cent respectively.
London continues to be the toughest area in the UK for first-time buyers and those with smaller deposits, where they accounted for just 13 per cent of approvals.
Yorkshire is the most popular area in the UK for first-time buyers, the study found, with 30.3 per cent of loans there going to small deposit borrowers.
E.surv director Richard Sexton says: “If you were a first-time buyer with the ability to live and work anywhere, the Yorkshire market would be the first place to start your house hunting.
“It is the only market in the UK which is more dominated by small deposit buyers than those with large deposits of cash.
“This is in stark contrast to London, where just 13 per cent of all mortgages go to those with small deposits, versus a whopping 41.2 per cent to those with large deposits.”
The study found strong growth for those with large deposits across the UK. Those with deposits of 60 per cent or more made up 34.5 per cent of the market in March, the highest ratio seen so far this year.
The proportion of mid-market borrowers remained steady, with 45.9 per cent of approvals to these borrowers, with the figure for February at 45.8 per cent.