Home owners in the UK settled more of their mortgage loans last year than they had in any other single year, according to figures released by the Bank of England.

Mortgage borrowers returned over £24 billion to lenders in 2010, the highest record since it started in 1970.

The figures include money paid as deposits by home buyers.

Meanwhile, UK borrowers paid £7 billion of mortgage debt in the fourth quarter, the highest amount of repayment since the bank started collecting figures.

Lenders demanding higher deposits increase the financial stake that home owners have in their properties.

“Extremely low savings rates have made it much more attractive for many people to use any spare funds that they have to reduce their mortgages,” said Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight.