Housing market activity 40% above 2014 levels

Housing market activity in December was 40% higher than the same month in 2014 according to research from Connells survey & valuation.

The total number of valuations carried out in December 2016 was 8% higher than 2015 and 40% higher than in 2014.

The number of valuations conducted for those selling property increased by 25% between December 2015 and 2016, with activity among those looking to remortgage increasing by 19% in the same period.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “The housing market has been recovering since September and had a great December.

“With interest rates still at record lows, many buyers are taking the opportunity to buy property that would have been regarded as a bargain at that price just a couple of years ago.”

First-time buyers also saw their number of valuations rise by 26% on an annual basis.

Bagshaw added: “First-time buyers and people selling property have regained much of the confidence they lost in the wake of the Brexit vote.

“First-time buyers have also taken full advantage of government led schemes and incentives such as Help to Buy which have done a great deal for affordability.”

The buy-to-let sector has however had a turbulent year with valuations contracting 26% on an annual basis.

Whilst overall activity is up 40% the volume of property sellers is up 32% and activity in the first-time buyer segment is up 50%.

Bagshaw said: “Looking back over the year, the market has regained a great deal of its strength with consumers’ confidence on the mend.

“Rates are low and employment is high –that’s a great recipe for a healthy housing market.

“The buy-to-let market’s loss has been the owner/occupiers gain as those looking to get on the ladder or trade-up have been left facing less competition for the properties they want to buy.”

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