Mortgage lending was boosted in November by increased activity by first-time buyers, according to figures out by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The rise was driven by lending to house buyers, which rose 6pc in November from a month earlier and were up 13pc compared with the same period in 2011.
First-time buyers accounted for 41pc of all house purchase loans for the second consecutive month, higher than the average of around 38pc, the data showed .
A total of 21,700 loans were made to first-time buyers, amounting to £2.7bn, an 8pc rise from October and a 24pc jump on November last year.
CML's director general Paul Smee said the "encouraging activity" in the first-time buyer market, which contributed to an uplift in house purchasing, suggested that the underlying trend for year-on-year increase was set to continue
"We expect the Funding for Lending scheme to continue to encourage a downward drift in interest rates. This may prompt an increase in remortgage activity as borrowers seek to take advantage of lower rate," he added.
Ashley Brown, director of the independent mortgage broker Moneysprite, said the rise in first-time buyers was the "best indication ye" that the Funding for Lending Scheme was starting to work.
"What began as mere mood music is turning into real momentum," he said.
"For months, lenders have been criticised for using the scheme's cheap money to repair their loan books, and accused of only cutting rates for borrowers with large deposits.
"That charge is now looking unfounded. With first-time buyers being tempted back into the market, the sector is finally picking itself off the ground.
"Though the message has come out slowly, the lenders are once again open for business for this key sector of the market.
However, Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said housing market activity was still relatively low and tough economic conditions were likely to limit the upside for house prices.
"On balance, therefore, we expect house prices to be essentially flat during 2013," he added.