Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said: "The government's decision to extend the stamp duty holiday - one of the main drivers of demand from home movers during the pandemic - has removed a great deal of uncertainty for buyers with transactions yet to complete.

"The new mortgage guarantee scheme is another welcome development from the recent Budget. Whilst mortgage approvals have reached record highs in recent months, hitting levels not seen since before the financial crisis of 2008, raising a deposit continues to be the single biggest hurdle for first-time buyers to overcome."

At the Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that a government guarantee means first-time buyers should get a wider choice of mortgages that require a deposit of just 5% of the loan. This will be available when buying properties worth up to £600,000.

However, critics say the policies could artificially push up house prices, making the prospect of buying a home even more of a distant one for some young people in the future. The stamp duty holiday has been extended to all property completions by 30 June 2021