Buy to let tops property market activity as valuations dip in October

The total number of housing valuations fell by 20 per cent in October although the buy to let sector performed more strongly, new research has claimed.

The latest report from Connells Survey and Valuation revealed that buy to let activity decreased by seven per cent annually compared to a ten per cent decrease in overall market activity.

This marked an improvement from a month previous when a drop of 12 per cent was noted in the 12 months to September 2014. 

Buy to let performed more strongly than the overall market on a monthly basis too, seeing a decrease of 17 per cent compared to a decrease in total valuations of 20 per cent.

“While the housing market is now less animated than in September, the slowdown is broadly in line with seasonal expectations and is not an alarm bell,” explained John Bagshaw, corporate services director at Connells.

He added that policy changes in recent months had impacted the housing market and suggested that a further lull might be noted in the run up to the General Election in May 2015.
Buy to let performed more strongly than the overall market however, as regulation has not impacted it in the same way.

“Policies like loan to income caps have introduced stricter lending rules but crucially do not apply to the buy to let sector,” added Mr Bagshaw.

He added that there is now “an array of competitive rates out there” which is assisting landlords and investors as they look to enhance their buy to let portfolios.

In October, first time buyer valuations made up nearly a third of total activity although the number of valuations for first time buyers still fell by 18 per cent compared to September. First time buyer activity also decreased, recording an annual drop of 11 per cent, while owner-occupier valuations fell by 16 per cent annually and 21 per cent month on month.