50% more valuations for buy-to-let investors than a year ago

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert March 8, 2012 13:53

The total number of residential valuations conducted during February was nearly a third more than a year ago.

This represented a month-on-month increase of 43%. Connells Survey and Valuation attributed the surge to an expected seasonal rise bolstered by a flurry of first-time buyer activity looking to beat the stamp duty deadline at the end of March.

The number of valuations for first-time buyers rose by 52% compared to February 2011 reaching the highest number since March 2009.

This represented a 56% increase in the number of valuations for first-time buyers compared to January.

First-time buyer demand accounted for 35% of all valuations completed as a result.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells survey and valuation, said: “There’s no doubt that the imminent deadline for the stamp duty holiday exemption has been a catalyst for first-time buyer activity.

“Many first-time buyers are now feeling a real sense of urgency and this has boosted overall mortgage market activity in the last month.

“But the first-time buyer demand has also been supported by stronger lending figures at the lower end of the market, not to mention mortgage affordability.

“If this trend continues into the spring, the improvement should help soften the blow of the end of the stamp duty holiday in the longer-term.”

Click!The Buy-to-let market saw 38% more valuations conducted for property investors in February than in January.

On an annual basis Connells conducted 50% more valuations for buy-to-let investors than a year ago.

Bagshaw added: “Property investors have begun the year by signalling their intent to grow their portfolios. The private rented sector is currently growing by 262,000 households per year and landlords are looking to take advantage of this swelling demand.

“An increasingly diverse set of mortgage finance options are being made available, and if lenders can maintain this progress, buy-to-let will help underpin growth in the mortgage market as the year progresses.”

Valuation activity from owner-occupiers moving home increased more steadily on an annual basis with the number of valuations conducted up 17% compared to February 2011. This represented an increase of 51% compared to January.

The remortgage market also grew in February with remortgage valuations rising by 18% compared to February 2011, a monthly increase of 21%.

Bagshaw concluded: “Remortgage activity has shown consistent annual growth in the past few months, despite the distant prospect of the Monetary Policy Committee hiking interest rates.

“However the recent announcement by Halifax that it is increasing its Standard Variable Rate is likely to spark a surge in remortgaging activity as those facing increasing costs take stock of their finances.

“If more lenders join Halifax in raising rates we may see the remortgaging market kick-up a gear in coming months as borrowers look to lock-in to favourable long-term fixed or tracker rates.”

Connells Survey and Valuation were unable to disclose volumes due to market sensitivity.

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert March 8, 2012 13:53

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