The British Bankers' Association (BBA) released the number of mortgage approvals in the U.K. on Wednesday. The number of mortgage approvals rose to 47,509 in January from 43,660 in December, exceeding expectations for a rise to 45,200. It was the highest level since February 2014.
December's figure was revised up from 43,979.
"The start of the year has seen a significant rise in mortgage borrowing. It seems that this has been driven, in part, by borrowers looking to get ahead of the increases in stamp duty for buy-to-let and second home buyers scheduled to come into effect in April," the chief economist at the BBA, Richard Woolhouse, said.