New figures show house purchase lending in November was stable, with few changes to the volume and value of mortgage activity.
If you are looking to make the first steps onto the property ladder, compare mortgages online to get an idea of the best interest rates on the market.
In November the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recorded 44,000 loans for house purchase, worth £6.3 billion, were advanced.
This figure was unchanged from October, but down 15 percent by volume and 13 percent by value from November 2009.
"It is encouraging to see credit criteria becoming a little more liberal for first-time buyers,” said Michael Coogan, CML director general.
"But the funding and capital constraints on lenders will continue to exert a dampening effect on lending, and criteria are unlikely to loosen substantially.”
CML also showed that loans for remortgage were down compared to the same period last year, 12 percent by volume, and 14 percent by value.
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Although the economic downturn has made it harder to obtain a mortgage, especially for first time buyers, if a potential buyer has a high deposit then they have access to some good offers currently on the market.
Many banks and building societies are trying to tempt consumers to take out a mortgage with them, so are launching special deals aimed at helping the first time buyer.
If you can get help from family for example to put towards a high deposit, then you can take advantage of better interest rates which will keep your monthly bills down.
The Bank of England has kept the base rate at 0.5 percent which means tracker mortgages are offering very low rates of interest, but now is a good time to take out a low fixed rate mortgage before this rate starts to rise.
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