Scottish mortgage lending up 5% in 2012
The number of first-time home buyers in Scotland last year was the highest level for four years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
Overall, £5.4bn was loaned to home buyers in Scotland in the last calendar year, up 5% compared to 2011.
There were about 19,000 first-time home owners in 2012, compared to about 16,500 in 2011.
There was also a small rise in the number of mortgages given to home movers, up by 100 to 27,600 in 2012.
The number of remortgages, which had risen sharply in the previous figures, fell by 19% in 2012 compared to 2011.
Iain Malloch, chair of CML Scotland, said: "The Scottish housing market showed positive signs of recovery in 2012, broadly following the pattern seen in the rest of the UK.
"The availability of mortgages at more than 90% loan-to-value has more than doubled in the last two years and lenders expect to offer more high loan-to-value mortgages this year.
"This, and the fact that the number of first-time buyers is at a post-crunch high, suggests that lenders really are open for business."
The CML report said the first-time buyers market was more affordable in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK.
In Scotland, a first-time buyer borrowed 2.88 times their income in 2012, lower than the 3.26 times income borrowed across the UK as a whole.