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First-time buyer valuations up by 31%

  • 11/12/2015
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First-time buyer valuations up by 31%
First-time buyer valuations rose by 31% in November against the same time last year.

Figures from Connells Survey & Valuation show first-time buyer activity also increased by 2% month-on-month from October to November.

The increase is two percentage points higher than the annual increase for the overall housing market, which climbed 29% the 12 months from November 2014, but showed no change compared to last month.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director at Connells Survey & Valuations, said many first-time buyers may be eager to get on the housing ladder to avoid a potential rate rise by the Bank of England in the New Year, while others are looking to take advantage of government schemes like Help to Buy while they last.

The Help to Buy: Equity loan is currently set to end in November 2021, while the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee will run until the end of next year. The end date for both schemes in Scotland and Wales is set to 31 March 2016.

However, Bagshaw said there is a chance they could be gradually phased out as housing market confidence continues to improve.

Valuation numbers for the market as a whole ‘remains strong’ with the buy-to-let sector showing a 26% increase in valuation activity over the year from November 2014, and 4% month-on-month growth.

Bagshaw said much of the energy in the sector is being driven by the hurry to beat the new Stamp Duty Land Tax April 2016 deadline, which will see a 3% surcharge incurred on second homes.

Remortgaging has seen 46% rise year-on-year and 5% month-on-month increases in valuation activity.

However, the progress for the home mover market has been more gradual, with activity for those looking to move up the ladder growing by 5% year-on-year, while the sector experienced a month-on-month decline of 8%.

Bagshaw said that homeowners are taking advantage of the low rates to get a better mortgage deal or release equity on their properties in order to renovate rather than move, which explains why fewer owners have been opting to progress up the property ladder.

He added that some home-owners will find themselves stretched financially over the Christmas period, instead opting to wait until the New Year when their capital flows are steadier.

“Despite a somewhat quiet month for homemovers, it has been a period of festive cheer for the rest of the housing market,” he said.

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