Mortgage lending reached an estimated £220.3bn in 2015 – an 8% increase on 2014’s total of £203.3bn, Council of Mortgage Lenders figures show.
This is the highest annual gross lending figure since 2008.
CML economist Mohammad Jamei said the lending total was “slightly higher than we anticipated”.
He added: “The low inflation environment, along with real wage growth, an improving labour market and competitive mortgage deals have all helped to underpin demand.
“Having said this, the upside potential looks limited over the near-term, as the supply of existing and new properties on the market remains weak, and affordability pressures weigh on activity. There is an added element of uncertainty as we wait to see the impact of tax changes on the buy-to-let sector.”
The market saw a strong December with lending reaching £19.9bn, a 23% increase year-on-year.
In the fourth quarter of 2015 lending reached £62.3bn, a 1% increase on the third quarter.