Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, commented: “When you consider that the housing market was effectively closed for two months in 2020, it is quite amazing to see that we ended the year with more approvals than overall in 2019. To say it has been a roller-coaster is something of an understatement, given the effect the pandemic has had across the world. However, the overall effect on the housing market, despite the buoyant figures, is one that some will be feeling is not necessarily for the better.

“The increased demand has pushed prices up and first-time-buyers are again feeling the brunt. With the average deposit needed now over £10,000 more than it was a year ago, according to research by Halifax, getting onto the property ladder is becoming harder again. The need for higher LTV lending is obvious although, for lenders, the ongoing economic impact and the risk of rising unemployment is a concern for long term affordability.”