"There has been a healthy increase in the proportion of loans going to first-time buyers, showing that lenders are welcoming these customers with open arms."
Mortgage approvals saw a monthly rise of 5.5%, as first-time buyer figures saw continued growth, according to the latest e.surv data.
Approvals were 2.7% higher than April 2018 as buyers benefit from increasingly competitive rates, despite the market for those moving home remaining subdued.
The proportion of loans given to customers with a small deposit was 28.5% in April, significantly higher than the 26% recorded in March.
Yorkshire was the region with the largest number of small deposit borrowers for the fifth consecutive month.
It was followed by the North West - where 35.1% of loans went to this part of the market - and the Midlands, where the figure was 31.8%.
Less than a quarter of all loans (24.3%) went to borrowers with large deposits, continuing the recent trend away from this part of the market.
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, commented: “In many parts of London and the South East, the property market continues to move slowly. Yet this has not translated into the mortgage market with activity remaining strong.
“There has been a healthy increase in the proportion of loans going to first-time buyers, showing that lenders are welcoming these customers with open arms.
“Previously it may have been difficult for these borrowers to get their foot on the ladder, but lenders are now reaching out to these parts of the market.
“In recent years we have seen Yorkshire, the North West and Northern Ireland battle it out to be the most favourable place for first-time buyers to get onto the ladder. Yet we have seen a shift this year with Yorkshire taking the lead in every month so far in 2019.
“That’s not to say the other areas have become difficult places to buy, both the North West and Northern Ireland offer good value to would-be homeowners.”