The latest Mortgage Monitor from E.surv found that there were 65,801 residential mortgages approved during May 2019 (seasonally adjusted).
This represents a 1.2% rise compared to the same month a year earlier.
E.surv is growth comes at a time when activity in the property market has tailed off in many areas, with many local markets showing little signs of growth.
It said existing homeowners who have driven the mortgage market forward so far in 2019. This is because mortgage lenders have continued to offer competitive deals, despite many having to contend with higher funding costs.
May’s lending total did drop back slightly from last month’s figure, falling by 0.7% month-on-month.
The proportion of loans given to first-time buyers and others with small deposits also declined whencompared to April’s stellar figure, dropping by 0.7%.
However, this figure is still well ahead of the 26% recorded in March and E.surv said this demonstrates the strong performance of the first-time buyer market, even when others are holding off on making purchases.
Richard Sexton, director at E.surv, said: “The doom and gloom in the property market seems a mile away from the positive stories coming out of the mortgage market.
“While few people are moving when they don’t have to, first-time buyers are still desperate to get onto the ladder.
“As for existing homeowners, they are being tempted into the market by near record low interest rates. Those looking to switch could save hundreds of pounds a month by moving to a cheaper deal from a rival lender.
“The strength of the remortgage market means that many mid-market borrowers, who often benefit most from switching, are flocking to lenders in search of a cheaper deal, supported by advice from mortgage professionals.”