25% boost in housing market activity
Activity in the UK housing market increased by more than 25% last year, according to research from Connells Survey & Valuation.
The total number of housing valuations carried out in December 2015 was 29% higher than in December 2014.
This impressive annual progress comes despite a seasonal contraction into the winter. Between November and December 2015, the valuations sector as a whole contracted by 17%, in line with previous historic dips in the housing market into the festive month. But overall business was up for the year.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “For the housing market 2015 has been a year of significant progress, even if at times growth has been spread a little unevenly. December has traditionally been a quiet month for the property ladder as people’s thoughts – and spending power – are focused on Christmas. The monthly dip in total valuation activity may raise some eyebrows, but it’s a reflection of the pattern we’ve seen over previous years.
“More significantly, the whole property market has enjoyed a strong annual performance.”
Leading the way
Annual growth in overall valuation activity has been largely driven by the performances of the buy-to-let and remortgaging sectors.
Between December 2014 and December 2015, the number of valuations conducted for buy-to-let properties soared by 86%, while, over the same period, valuation activity among those looking to remortgage rose by 34%.
Bagshaw said: “In an environment of competitive mortgage rates and strong demand for rental property from tenants, the buy-to-let sector is always going to be a popular option for investors with the time to devote to being a landlord. However, the added factor of the April 1st Stamp Duty increase has spurred many investors who might have been sitting on the fence to take the plunge and enter the buy-to-let market before its profitability takes a hit.
“The remortgaging market has typically been a strong performer over the last year. Home owners who lack the desire to take the risk and move are opting instead to remortgage in order to release capital on their home to use towards home renovations – improving rather than moving.”