Mortgage approvals for residential properties rose 26 per cent year-on-year last month to 73,871, according to Bank of England figures.
The value of the loans increased from £10.3bn to £13bn.
Remortgage approvals rose 24 per cent from 32,755 to 40,749 in the same period. The value of these approvals grew 38 per cent from £5.3bn to £7.3bn.
But both lending categories fell when compared to January 2016.
The number of approvals dropped by 0.2 to 73,944 from 74,085, while the value of approvals fell by 5 per cent to £13bn.
The number of remortages fell from 41,770 to 40,749, while the value of these dropped from £7.4bn to £7.3bn.
E.surv director Richard Sexton says: “The start of the year has seen a sustained momentum in house purchase lending, fuelled by the force of buy-to-let. February in particular saw a surge of buy-to-let activity as a result of the race to beat stamp duty changes coming into force tomorrow.