UK lenders approved nearly 105,000 new mortgages in November, the highest number since the global financial crisis in August 2007.
That was up from over 98,300 in October and defied Reuters forecasts for a total 82,500 approvals, according to newly-released Bank of England data.
It comes as home buyers rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, before it comes to an end on 31 March.
However, unsecured lending fell by £1.5bn as borrowers made larger payments on their debts.
It follows a net repayment of £700m in October. The bulk of the repayments were on credit cards.
Households lucky enough not to be hit by job cuts and a loss of income also managed to put more money aside in November. The data shows deposits increased by £17.6bn in November, up from £12.7bn in October.