A stronger market in January saw a fourth consecutive month of annual growth in valuation activity, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey & Valuation.
The number of residential valuations conducted by Connells in January grew 39% on an annual basis. The yearly improvement followed a particularly strong monthly recovery from the festive period, with a 16% increase in total valuations activity since December.
John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments:
“By any measure, 2013 has got off to a positive start. We normally see a gradual recovery from the festive hiatus, but January’s valuations market has come bouncing back. Credit conditions have shown signs of easing in the New Year and those first time buyers that can are taking advantage, boosting overall activity.”
First time buyers were central to the strong overall growth seen in January – making up one third of the total valuations market for the first time since June. Valuations on behalf of first time buyers grew by 24% from December. In a fifth month of annual growth, there were 40% more new buyers than in January 2012.
“A succession of months like January could start to feel like a sustained recovery for anyone hoping to buy their first home. A combination of strong buyer demand and improving competition among lenders at the bottom of the market has been central to progress. It’s also encouraging that we’re seeing lenders innovate with new products to try and unlock the first time buyer market.”
“But even if higher LTV mortgages are increasingly available, this is only one half of the equation. A more attractive savings market will be vital to sustained growth in new buyers. At the same time as providing assistance for those who have a deposit, Funding for Lending is damaging savings rates and leaving potential new buyers exposed to inflation.”
Home movers were more active in January, with a 6% monthly increase in these valuations. On an annual basis, this contributed to 40% growth in home-moving activity. Remortgaging also bounced back strongly in January, with a 29% monthly increase, putting remortgaging valuations 31% higher than a year ago.
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