Approvals for remortgage also rose on the month, by 3.9%, to 52,100.
Net mortgage borrowing - which lags approvals - by households was £4.0 billion in January, slightly below the £4.3 billion average seen over the past six months.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “The highest rate of mortgage approvals in almost three years and particularly so early in the year is yet further proof, if it were ever needed, that buyers are returning in their droves following December’s election result.
It is this huge influx of demand that has seen prices increase at such notable rates of late and as a result, the market is now in the best shape it’s been since the EU Referendum itself.
Not only are seeing performance exceed expectations but there is a very real chance of an interest rate cut on the horizon, which will further boost buyer sentiment, borrowing, and overall market performance.”
Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at Primis, commented: “With the support of a professional, borrowers will be better-informed on how to manage their finances in the long-run and are less likely to fall into a mortgage deal that could leave them financially worse off.
"Advisers are also a big help for clients whose circumstances change during their term, having the resources to be able to offer customers a better deal that aligns with their new financial situation.”