Valuation activity dips further after April’s Buy-to-Let slump

Home valuations fell by one percent from April into May according to surveyors Connells Survey and Valuation.

The number of valuations however rose year on year, with 18% more compared with May last year.

The biggest monthly drop was amongst first time buyers with eight percent less activity, matched by an eight percent rise in activity amongst buy-to-let investors. Remortgage activity was also up 3% however home movers dropped by 1%.

Compared with last year however, the picture is somewhat different, with 37% more valuations involving first time buyers, and 38% fewer valuations for buy-to-let investors. Owing to continuing low interest rates, remortgage related valuations are also up 42% year on year.

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John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Compared to the gloomy picture painted by some, activity is looking remarkably resilient ahead of June’s housing market.

“Some month-on-month cooling could still be a result of stamp duty changes that came into effect at the start of April. However once that stamp duty-related instability has passed, there appears to be a steadier annual growth and a more positive outlook for the housing market. Even if the EU referendum does have a measureable impact, one thing is clear – any slump hasn’t happened yet.

“Remortgagors are leading the market, underpinned by lenders offering a new set of favourable interest rates for existing homeowners. But first-time buyers are also on the up. Factors such as low inflation, rising wages and government schemes are all helping new owners onto the property ladder.

“Even for the much-downplayed buy-to-let industry, May was a good month. Valuations on behalf of landlords have been leading the housing market since April. Annual growth is likely to stay negative for buy-to-let activity, but the most recent signs are positive.”

“Home movers have had a stable month and appear confident in the strength of the housing market and the value of their homes.

“Looking ahead, to the EU referendum and how the outcome will have an effect on the property market, the feeling from home movers will be an important measure of confidence in a time of uncertainty. But for the time being that doesn’t seem to have stopped thousands of households from electing to sell their current homes and consider an upgrade or a change of location.”

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