Valuation activity hits six year high
The report found that the number of residential valuations in March 2013 were up 24% on the same month last year. This was the sixth successive month of growth and the firm said it resulted in the busiest month in six years.
Activity in the first-time buyer sector was a key driver for growth, up 26% on the previous month and a third on the same period in 2012.
After a quiet winter period, buy-to-let valuations sprung into life with the market increasing by 45% on February’s figures. This level is 19% above March 2012.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “The coldest March in over fifty years doesn’t seem to have stalled progress.
“Certainly, if last month’s trend continues, the housing market might be looking at a more sustained take-off than the usual spring bounce.
“Improvements are filtering through to more first timers too. Better competition at higher loan-to-value ratios is starting to make mortgages more affordable for first time buyers.
“The expectation that Bank rates will stay low for many years is also cementing low interest rates, but the biggest change is a calmer approach to the risk from smaller deposits. Much of that particular progress is down to the latest government intervention.
“It will all take time to filter through, and the longer-term economic impact is far less certain. But already, things are moving in a much more positive direction.”