Mortgage lenders' appetite for handing out lower-deposit loans had already increased significantly before the Government's new Help to Buy scheme was fired into action, the Bank of England has found.
Lenders reported seeing a "significant" increase in the availability of mortgages to people with deposits of less than 25% in the three months to September, although their willingness to lend to people with the smallest deposits of less than 10% had been "little changed".
They told the Bank's latest credit conditions survey that they expect to become more willing to hand out deals to people with deposits below 10% in the next few months.
Demand for mortgages is expected to rise further in the last three months of the year amid signs that consumers are feeling more confident about the economy as house prices pick up, t he report found.
The findings were published in the same week that the new phase of the Government's flagship Help to Buy scheme, which sees major lenders offering state-backed mortgages to people with deposits as low as 5%, got under way.
The scheme has sparked controversy amid fears it will create a house price bubble and fuel demand further at a time when the volume of homes for sale is in relatively short supply.
The Bank's survey of lenders was carried out between August and early September, before the Government announced it was bringing forward the launch of Help to Buy from January next year to this week.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said many would-be borrowers will see the further increase in mortgage availability in the coming months as " finally an opportunity which is just too good to miss".
He said the survey also underlines the need for Help to Buy, which will offer mortgages for those with a 5% deposit who are credit-worthy and can afford their repayments.
Mr Harris said: " Lenders are keen to stress that they haven't changed their risk appetite, suggesting that they are as stringent as ever on underwriting with no relaxation on credit scoring.
"This is admirable but lenders do want to increase their market share: many will have one eye on the year-end and where they want to be in terms of volume of lending done."
Consumer demand for personal loans also increased "significantly" in the third quarter, which was put down to recent falls in loan rates as well as signs that consumers are feeling better about the economy.
The volume of people taking out loans to finance car purchases was reported as particularly strong.
But the rising demand for personal loans was not matched by consumer demand for borrowing on credit cards.
Demand for credit cards was said to be flat in the third quarter of the year, with little change expected in the next three months, despite lenders loosening their credit scoring criteria for non-mortgage borrowing.
Overall credit availability to the corporate sector increased slightly in the third quarter and the change was similar across firms of all sizes.
A slightly higher proportion of loan applications from small businesses were accepted in the third quarter, with little change in acceptance rates for medium and large-sized firms.
Lenders expect that signs of improvement in the economy will lead to a further slight expansion in overall credit availability in the next few months for firms of all sizes.