March property valuations at eight year high for buy to let

More property valuations took place in March 2015 than in any month in the last eight years, with the buy to let sector particularly active.

According to Connells Survey and Valuation, valuation figures have jumped in the buy to let sector as more people look to invest in property.

Buy to let activity was 54 per cent stronger month on month this March and up 64 per cent year on year.

This reflects overall trends in the buy to let sector where more mortgages were agreed than in any other sector in the year until January.

According to the report, the last time so many valuations took place was in 2007 and overall valuations were up by 42 per cent year on year and 36 per cent month on month, with such levels of activity not seen since before the financial crisis.

Optimism into the property market

Elsewhere in the market, valuations were also strong with remortgaging activity up 54 per cent annually and 33 per cent between February and March.

Valuations for homemovers also grew but at a slower pace of 23 per cent annually and 32 per cent month on month.

First time buyer activity increased in March as the number of valuations was up by a third on a monthly basis and increased by 40 per cent from a year ago.

John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey and Valuation, reported that optimism from the economy and jobs market was seeping into the property market.

“Looking ahead, election uncertainty is a real factor and not to be underestimated, yet a wider trend of buoyancy is definitely emerging,” he said.

“For half a decade surprises have tended to be unpleasant ones – but this spring the housing market is now surprising on the upside.”

Mr Bagshaw added that government schemes and announcements like the Help to Buy ISA have helped to drive this interest from first time buyers.

“In the short-term this is mainly about sentiment, but extra support has been consistently focused at this end of the market for years now, with a longer-term impact too,” he said.

He added that activity in the market was highest at the bottom of the property ladder when compared to the number of valuations done by households who already own their homes.

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