There is a risk that the housing market will stall again once the stamp duty holiday reaches its conclusion, according to Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife.

Horner said: “There was a continued buzz of activity in December as people were finally able to climb a rung on the housing ladder.

“A positive sign at the end of what was a very challenging and uncertain year for most.

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“However, this activity was largely driven by the stamp duty holiday, which allowed many to accelerate their dream of buying their first home.”

The RICS Residential Market Survey data outlined that sales expectations have retreated, with respondents expecting the latest lockdown restrictions and ending of the stamp duty holiday to weigh on activity moving forward.

Furthermore, Horner noted that for individuals who have purchased a property through the use of the stamp duty holiday, they should now look towards protection.

He said: “For buyers who have acted quickly to make the most of the stamp duty holiday, it is important they now ensure that they have the necessary protection in place, given it may not have been an immediate focus at the time.”