Property Survey Activity:

Buy to Let activity is down despite the December 2016 activity in the UK’s housing market moving up 40% on December 2014, that’s according to the latest research from Connells Survey & Valuation.

Overall valuation activity surged in 2016 with the total number of valuations carried out in December 2016 rising 8% on an annual basis – and 40% compared to December 2014 says Connells.

First time buyers led the field with the number of valuations rising by 26% on an annual basis.  Meanwhile, the number of valuations conducted for those wanting to sell property increased by 25% between December 2015 and December 2016.

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Over the same period, valuation activity among those looking to remortgage increased by 19%.

•             Overall activity in December 2016 was also up 8% on December 2015

•             Highest growth in First Time Buyer segment – up 26%

•             But the buy-to-let sector is still struggling

Connels Surveys

Year on Year Change in Valuation Activity by Customer Type – December 2016

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: 

“The housing market has been recovering since September and had a great December.  Compared to 2015 it looks good.  Compared to December 2014 it looks exceptional.  First time buyers and people selling property have regainedmuch of the confidence they lost in the wake of the Brexit vote.  With interest rates still at record lows, many buyers are taking the opportunity to buy property that would have been regarded as a bargain at that price just a couple of years ago.”

“In August the base rate was cut to 0.25%, the first adjustment in over seven years.  This led to lower mortgage rates which has fueled the remortgaging sector.  First-time buyers have also taken full advantage of government led schemes and incentives such as Help to Buy which have done a great deal for affordability.” 

The buy-to-let sector, however, has been the loser here: valuations have contracted by 26% on an annual basis which shows the impact of recent changes, taxation and mortgage restrictions on Buy to Let.

But, the comparison between December 2016 and December 2014 illustrates the longer-term trend across the wider market.  While overall activity is up 40%, the volume of property sellers is up 32% and activity in the first time buyer segment is up 50%.  Remortgage activity is up 68% as consumers have taken advantage of some of the fantastic mortgage deals we have seen recently.  Even this activity in the buy-to-let segment is up 13% on December 2014.

John Bagshaw said: 

“Looking back over the year, the market has regained a great deal of its strength with consumers’ confidence on the mend.  Rates are low and employment is high – that’s a great recipe for a healthy housing market.  And the buy-to-let market’s loss has been owner-occupiers gain as those looking to get on the ladder or trade-up have been left facing less competition for the properties they want to buy.”

About Connells Survey & Valuation

Connells Survey & Valuation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Connells Group, a leading property services group. The group includes a network of nearly 600 estate agency branches – the second largest estate agency network in the UK.  In addition to operating under the Connells brand, the Group trades under other well-known local names including William H Brown, Barnard Marcus, Fox & Sons, Sharman Quinney, Rook Matthews Sayer and Peter Alan.

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