Net lending for the year totalled £11.53bn, which the Council of Mortgage Lenders says its the lowest level since 1987 when records began.
But the figure is up on the levels predicted by the CML, which forecast £8bn in net lending for the year.
Gross lending hit £143.5bn in 2009, while gross lending for December came to £13.4bn.
Paul Samter, economist at the CML, says: “These figures confirm that the mortgage market ended 2009 in much better shape than it started, but it still looks like a slow haul back to meaningful levels of activity.
“It should be no surprise if January and February this year appear particularly slow, if we are correct in our view that many buyers rushed to beat the Stamp Duty concession deadline in December.”