Remortgaging was down 29 per cent year-on-year, taking it to 23 consecutive months of year-on-year falls.
There were 45,000 loans for house purchases in March, worth £6.3bn, up 24 per cent from February. There were 28,000 loans for remortgage, up 23 per cent in volume and worth £3.5bn.
House purchase loans stood at 112,000 for the first quarter, worth £16.1bn, which was down from 171,000 and £23.3bn respectively in the last quarter of 2009.
Remortgage loans fell from 89,000 in the last three months of 2009 to 74,000, with values dropping from £11.1bn to £9.3bn.
First-time buyer activity was up 27 per cent on February, with 17,300 loans worth a total of £2bn in March. Home-mover loans reached 27,500, up 245 per cent on February and a 45 per cent increase in volume on March last year.
CML director general Michael Coogan says: “Today’s figures indicate there is currently some momentum to house purchase lending, but for the sake of the future health of the housing and mortgage markets, the new government will need to focus on the critical issue of funding and how to address the issues arising from the repayment of the emergency support provided during the financial crisis. The UK is at risk of a chronic under-supply of credit – and the rationing of mortgages for customers – for years to come.”