Market records steady April
There was a 13% increase in property valuations year-on-year despite a 32% drop from the month before.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “The fact that all indicators – from first-time buyers right through to remortgagers – are up on this time in 2014 demonstrates the broad momentum in the property market, which we expect to continue through into the new Parliament.
“A messy election result could finally penetrate the public consciousness in May and affect sentiment more seriously.
“The latest monthly dip from March is generally a seasonal effect at this time of year – so if this monthly slowdown continues further we’ll know that something has changed more fundamentally.”
Remortgage activity was 25% higher than the same month last year despite a 34% seasonal dip, while similarly buy-to-let market valuations were 29% higher than April last year but 36% lower than March 2014.
First-time buyer activity was more subdued, standing just 7% higher than April last year after dropping by 33% from March.
Bagshaw added: “First time buyers have had bundles of extra support over the last five years – but still not quite enough to power any serious growth in the number stepping onto the property ladder for the first time. This might disappoint some, especially with the plethora of government schemes to boost first timers.
“Yet the greatest squeeze has been among those who already own their home – who simply aren’t looking to upsize in the same way as might have been the case a decade ago.
“Householders might have said goodbye to the recession years ago, but the crunch on disposable incomes and aspiration to move to a bigger home might well last a decade.”