Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software, added: “The housing market, like many things, is more than the sum of its parts and, with the overall picture painted by these figures from UK Finance, it is evident that the number of mortgage approvals is only part of the story. The stamp duty holiday obviously did as it was intended, stimulating the market in difficult circumstances. It has also created increased demand in a market where there isn’t enough property to meet that demand, which in turn is pushing prices up across the country.
“With many transactions in the pipeline the extension to the SDLT holiday, announced in the Budget yesterday, will go some way to ensuring that more of these complete before the new deadline. Whilst the mortgage guarantee scheme and extended nil band rate to £250,000 will help buyers struggling to raise large deposits, the increase in remortgages to release capital to help family members with deposits is telling. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues now that 95% mortgages are back on the table.
“The encouraging thing from the Chancellor’s speech yesterday was that, according to the OBR, recovery from the pandemic is ‘set to be swifter and more sustained than forecast’. Let’s hope that this is indeed the case. We still need to consider the increase in arrears cases in both the mortgage and rental sectors and how lenders will deal with these as we move forward.”