First time buying and remortgaging thrive, as buy-to-let valuations plummet annually, new figures reveal
Remortgaging property owners are taking full advantage of record low interest rates and the cut to the Bank Rate, according to research from Connells Survey and Valuation.
In October, the number of remortgage valuations was 16.8% higher than it was in October 2015, as homeowners locked into attractive deals.
John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments: “Spurred on by competitive deals and record low rates, remortgagers have been one of the most active segments of the market. As rates have fallen over the last twelve months, savvy homeowners have been taking full advantage of the benign borrowing environment and competition between lenders – borrowers can afford to be more selective than they could twelve months ago. Homeowners on expensive standard variable rate mortgages are making big savings moving onto the best fixed and discounted rate mortgages around.”
The volume of valuations undertaken on behalf of first time buyers also increased significantly, up 15.4% compared to October 2015. Similarly, there was a 6% year-on-year increase in the number of valuations for home movers selling property.
John Bagshaw continues: “The first time buyer sector has continued to thrive as those looking to get onto the property ladder have taken advantage of various government schemes available. The Help-to-Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, which is due to end at the end of the year, has given the first time buyer market a much needed boost over the past year which is clear from the sizable increase in activity.”
Buy-to-let activity contracted 13.3% over the last 12 months – although there were 4.5% more buy-to-let valuations in October 2016 than in September 2016.
Overall, October has seen a notable 6.4% increase in the number of all property valuations compared to the same month last year.
John Bagshaw concludes: “Total valuation market activity has improved over the course of the last twelve months – despite the attack on the buy-to-let market by the previous Chancellor. Recently, as landlords have started to come to terms with the stamp duty surcharge and the announcement of the changes to treatment of mortgage interest, the buy-to-let market has started to pick back up. Given that the Monetary Policy Committee is no longer guiding the public to expect any further cuts in the Bank Rate, as it had done previously, we may see even more activity in the remortgage market in coming months.”