Total gross mortgage lending in June increased to £15 billion, according to estimates from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
This represents a rise of 2% from £14.7 billion in May and 26% higher than the total of £11.9 billion in June 2012.
It is the highest monthly estimate for gross lending since October 2008.
Gross lending for the second quarter of 2013 was therefore an estimated £42 billion. This represents a 24% increase from the previous three months and is the highest quarterly estimate since Q4 2008.
CML chief economist Bob Pannell said: “Improvements in the cost and availability of mortgage credit are underpinning a meaningful recovery in the housing market. In recent months, we have seen the strongest performance for mortgage lending since 2008.
“However, although the pace of first-time buyer activity is approaching a quarter of a million per annum, it is worth bearing in mind that this is still barely half of activity rates a decade earlier, and so far below what might be considered normal levels.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The outlook for the housing market continues to improve as increased mortgage availability, better rates and more choice at higher loan-to-values is reflected in the official numbers. It is a trend brokers and estate agents have seen since the start of this year: increased confidence in the market and ability to get the funding required is persuading more people to take the plunge and either get on the housing ladder for the first time or move up it.
“However, while the lending numbers are the strongest they have been since 2008, this will be a long, slow recovery. Much ground has been lost and lending levels are running at a fraction of what they were at the height of the housing boom. Government schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are already seeing a positive impact though, and we expect this to continue when the mortgage guarantee element of Help to Buy is introduced in January.”