Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “The resilience of the housing market in the face of coronavirus has seen house prices repeatedly hit new highs, and we expect this trend to continue in the coming months.

“There is the danger that first-time buyers could be increasingly priced out of the market, and this government scheme goes some way towards helping young people. 

“The work of employment has changed beyond recognition during Covid, and first-time buyers who can work from home could use this opportunity to find themselves a home in a cheaper part of the country.

“Do shop around if you’re tempted by taking out a 95% mortgage, as some of the rates on offer for a two-year fixed deal are 3.9% - more than 2% higher than the cheapest deals on the market.

“It is also worth checking whether the property you have your eye on is suitable for one of these new mortgages, as Halifax and Barclays have said that new-build properties will not fall under the scheme.

“While this is good news for property owners and first-time buyers, these measures could be like pouring gasoline on a roaring fire, potentially propelling house prices to higher and higher heights into the summer.”