Market shakes off winter blues
The market is still slower than February last year, when there were 4% more valuations.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “After an extended period of fairly subdued activity it is encouraging to see the market shake off its winter blues.
“It is especially positive that all the sectors posted big gains. The first quarter is normally a strong one so after a relatively weak January it is reassuring to see February come back so strongly.
“Previously activity among home movers was sluggish, reporting weak growth throughout Q4 and at the beginning of this year. However, supported by a sunny economic outlook and record low mortgage rates we are beginning to see a shift in consumer behaviour.”
Homemover activity was particularly strong month-on-month, rising by 59% from January, while first-time buyer valuations rose by 52% over the same period.
Remortgage activity increased by 50% month-on-month, although year-on-year it was the weakest sector, with a 10% drop in the number of valuations.
In terms of buy-to-let in February valuations rose by 37% after rising by 41% in January, while the sector’s monthly activity recorded an 8% year-on-year increase.
Bagshaw added: “After the shock of December it is great to see the buy-to-let sector post substantial gains.
“Continued weak inflation has further dampened fears of an upcoming hike in interest rates.
“As a result we’re seeing increasing confidence among both lenders and borrowers alike as low mortgage rates carry on posing attractive deals.
“Whilst inflation remains low we expect the sector to continue to thrive.”