Annual UK residential valuation activity cooled last month, latest research shows

Taylor Scott International News

UK housing market valuation activity increased 13% on a monthly basis in August but down 4% compared with a year ago, according to the latest analysis. One reason it is still quieter than a year ago could partly be due to August 2013 being a particularly strong month. John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation said it was the first time where it was clear the property market was moving into sustained positive territory. ‘Since last summer progress for the housing market is on a new, steadier, and more sustainable track. It’s worth remembering, activity is now up 5% compared to August 2007, so hardly a poor base for future progress,’ he explained. ‘Moreover, initial signs are positive for September and barring unforeseen financial wobbles the housing market is set for solid and sustainable progress through the autumn and into the New Year,’ he added. The firm’s report also shows that first time buyers still represent the largest sub-section of activity, with new buyers representing a 30% proportion of all valuations in August. Compared to July, first time buyer activity increased by 8%. However, a year-on-year fall of 4% in the number of valuations for first time buyers is in line with the drop in total valuations activity compared to August 2013. Home movers already on the property ladder fared better than first time home-buyers in August, in contrast to previous trends. Valuations on behalf of home movers numbered 18% more in August than in July. On an annual basis home mover activity is also in line with an overall fall of 4% since August 2013. ‘Since the recession, those further up the ladder have been more content to stay put in their homes, to stick with the asset they have. Such a strong showing from home movers looking to up-size is a positive sign for sentiment in the rest of the housing market. Meanwhile, first time buyer activity has bounced back well from a particularly strong summer slowdown,’ Bagshaw pointed out. By contrast, remortgaging activity has fallen most sharply on an annual basis, down 5% compared to August 2013. This is despite an 8% increase in the number of remortgaging valuations on a monthly basis, compared to July 2014. ‘Remortgaging is certainly still on the agenda and still makes financial sense for plenty of households. This has just been on the back burner a little over the summer period, when people have other things to think about,’ said Bagshaw. ‘With the return from holidays, and as the back to school mood sets in, house holders may start to reconsider their monthly finances. The long term trend is clear, a higher base rate is on the way. The cheapest mortgage deals are only set to become rarer over coming years, so in the medium term remortgaging activity will reflect that,’ he added. Buy to let… Continue reading →

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