House purchase lending saw an increase across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in Q4, according to the latest CML statistics.
In Wales, home-owner house purchase lending totalled 7,900 loans, up 7% on the previous quarter and 14% on the fourth quarter 2014.
In Scotland, loan numbers fell 4% in the third quarter but rose 14% year-on-year, and in Northern Ireland activity increased to 3,700 loans - up 6% on the third quarter and 3% on Q4 2014.
First-time buyers in Wales saw a positive Q4, with loans up 3% by volume and by value on the third quarter. Compared to the same period the previous year, this was up 16% by volume and 21% by value.
FTBs in Scotland borrowed £870 million - down 2% on the previous quarter but up 14% on the fourth quarter 2014.
In Northern Ireland, first-time buyers took out 2,100 loans worth £190m, up 5% by volume and 6% by value compared to the third quarter and up 5% by volume and 12% by value compared to the fourth quarter 2014.
Home mover loans in Wales rose 14% on Q4 2014. For the same period, Scottish home movers rose by 18% and remained unchanged quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year in Northern Ireland.
All regions saw an increase in mortgage lending on a quartlerly an annual basis. In Northern Ireland, remortgage lending soared by 50% on the same quarter in 2014. These loans were worth £190m, up 12% quarter-on-quarter and 58% year-on-year.
Julie-Ann Haines, CML chair for Wales, commented:
"The continued growth in all lending types meant that more people bought homes in Wales in 2015 than any other year since 2007, and it is welcome to see both first-time buyers and home movers driving this growth. With affordability being better in Wales than the UK overall, and demand-led government schemes like Help to Buy Cymru proving popular, we'd expect this upward trend to continue in 2016."
Linda Docherty, CML chair for Scotland, said:
"The sustained year-on-year growth in house purchase lending seen since 2012 continued in Scotland this quarter. This meant more first-time buyers and home movers in 2015 took out a loan to purchase a home than in any year since 2008. With an economic climate of low interest rates and competitive mortgage deals, we would expect this growth in the Scottish market to continue into 2016."
Derek Wilson, CML chair for Northern Ireland, added:
"Northern Ireland home lending this quarter rose to its highest level since mid-2007 and it is welcome to see more first-time buyers purchasing their first home in this period than any other quarter since 2006.While supply issues persist, the wider availability of funding options in the market and housing affordability better than the UK overall, we’d predict this upward trend to continue into the new year.
"Remortgage activity, which has been static for a number of years, has finally seen a resurgence in 2015, albeit from a low base after activity declined greatly post-recession. It's now at its highest quarterly volume since 2011."