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"Housing market has weathered the storm"

Commenting on the Bank of England Money and Credit figures for February, Jonathan Sealey CEO of specialist short term lender Hope Capital, said: “A year on since the start of the pandemic, it is encouraging to see mortgage approvals significantly higher in February at 87,000, than the same point a-year-ago. Coupled with mortgage borrowing at the strongest level for five years (since March 2016), it’s clear that the housing market has weathered the storm of the past 12 months.

“Having just gone into lockdown in March 2020, it was hard to know what was going to happen to the property market as things like viewings or even visiting an estate agent became effectively banned.

“But today, as the first set of lockdown restrictions start to lift in England and Wales, we can see that the housing market - driven to a large extent by the SDLT holiday - has not only bounced back but continues to grow.

“All those involved in the sector should take credit for that, and initiatives such as virtual viewings and the introduction of new products during the lockdown, have contributed to the property market staying operational.

“It’s also been an opportunity for specialist lenders particularly who have been able demonstrate the agility and speed that sets them apart from high street lenders, in ensuring people can get their deals over the line, no matter what else is happening.”

Published: 29 March 2021