Valuations reach 8-year high in March
There were 42% more valuations year-on-year and 36% more month-on-month as the first-time buyer market responded to the Help to Buy ISA announcement.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Optimism looks to be catching, seeping from the wider economy and jobs situation into the property market.
“Looking ahead, election uncertainty is a real factor and not to be underestimated, yet a wider trend of buoyancy is definitely emerging.
“For half a decade surprises have tended to be unpleasant ones – but this spring the housing market is now surprising on the upside.”
Remortgaging activity was strong in March, reporting a 54% increase in valuations annually and a 33% increase month-on month.
And buy-to-let was even more prosperous, as activity was 54% stronger month-on-month 64% more buoyant year-on-year.
For homemovers valuations increased at a slower pace – 32% on a monthly basis and 23% from March 2014.
But first-time buyer activity flourished, as valuations increased by a third (33%) from February and 40% from March last year.
John Bagshaw, comments: “New announcements like the Help to Buy ISA have combined with existing government schemes to boost interest from first-time buyers.
“In the short-term this is mainly about sentiment, but extra support has been consistently focused at this end of the market for years now, with a longer-term impact too.
“Whether this is a good thing demands a political answer – but the housing market has definitely felt the effect. For a considerable time, activity at the bottom of the property ladder has grown faster than activity among households who already own their home.”