"While the base rate may have stayed at 0.5% in May, speculation continues about the next increase, which appears to be coming sooner rather than later."
The UK mortgage market saw "substantial growth" between April and May, with first-time buyers among the main beneficiaries, according to the latest e.surv data.
A total of 66,479 mortgages were approved in May, 6.4% higher than April’s figure, with 22.4% of the overall market going to small deposit borrowers - significantly higher than the 20.2% rate recorded in April.
As ever, there is a wide variation between the regions of the UK, with some areas boasting a much higher proportion of small deposit borrowers.
For the second month running Northern Ireland saw the biggest proportion of loans go to small deposit borrowers, with 35.7% of all loans went to this part of the market.
The region was one of only four to have a greater proportion of small deposit buyers than their large deposit counterparts, ahead of Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands.
Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, commented: “There was strong growth in the mortgage market in May, with approvals rising significantly compared to April.
“Mortgages are at the forefront of the national conversation, with many people assessing their options and looking to fix in this rising interest rate environment.
“While the base rate may have stayed at 0.5% in May, speculation continues about the next increase, which appears to be coming sooner rather than later."