The UK’s property market is likely to keep on growing strongly, mortgage lending figures suggest.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said total mortgage lending by its members was 38% higher in January than a year ago.

The number of mortgages for home buyers which were approved, but not yet lent, was up 57% on a year earlier.

The BBA said the revival in activity had been helped particularly by the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

“Mortgage borrowing continues to rise compared to a year earlier as mortgage assistance schemes help first-time buyers and housing chains more generally,” said the BBA statistics director, David Dooks.

“Approvals for new purchases have climbed quite significantly and are now at their highest point since September 2007.

“Credit card spending is also on the rise, showing that consumer confidence in the economy continues to improve,” he added.

House building firm Persimmon says its own sales are on track for a big rise this year, with forward sales currently at more than £1.4bn compared with £1bn a year earlier.

Its comments came as it reported a 55% rise in pre-tax profits for 2013 to £337m. Sales rose by 16% to 11,528, with sales in the second half of the year up by 30%.

It pointed to Help to Buy and greater mortgage lending as two of the reasons for the strong upturn last year.

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