Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing, says “The increase in house purchases is something that the industry has been waiting to see. Last year the bulk of activity was for first-time buyers and remortgages, so it would be very interesting to see what proportion of the recent house purchase approvals were for first-time buyers against that for home-movers.

“With the recent Equity Release (ER) Market Monitor (from Key) revealing a drop in the number of ER transactions last year, it appears that the market is shifting in all directions. Maybe this shift is actually a sign of things coming back into balance?”