As the first week of January flashes by, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Christmas break was just a dream as the market seems to have picked up pretty much where it left off; lots of enquiries, minimal stock levels.

However, there is something different and that is in the attitude of the applicants. It does not seem to be a question of just taking tentative, initial steps any more, but a grim determination to actually transact this year. In fact, the sooner the better for most.

With more lenders piling into the 90% and 95% lending market, with Santander the latest last week whilst the Post Office have also set out their plans, the number of first-time buyers coming back into the market is increasing. With existing borrowers realising that this year could be the best year to remortgage for a while, added to the fact that Buy To Let landlords are being encouraged by a proliferation of competitive mortgage deals from a growing number of lenders, then you have a pretty strong cocktail of activity.

As we have mentioned before, this first quarter of the year is going to be very important before the oncoming Mortgage Market Review in April potentially puts the breaks on slightly as far as lending is concerned. However, this should not be any more than a blip with lenders hungrier to lend than at any time in the past 5 years.

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