February’s data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows that the number of loans to first-time property buyers rose by 11% in February compared to the same month last year.

By contrast, the number of loans to home-movers (ie those moving from one home to another) was down 6% over the same period.

This means that both groups took out 24,000 loans that month, a parity that has not existed for 20 years.

The growth in FTBs means that the total number of mortgages taken out in February was the highest seen in that month since the crash of 2007.