Housing market activity was up 40 per cent in December in comparison to the same month in 2014, according to the latest research from Connells Survey & Valuation.
2016 saw a surge in valuation activity, with the number carried out in December alone up 8 per cent year on year, and a staggering 40 per cent on the year before. However, valuations in the buy to let market were down 26 per cent during the same period, yet showed long term growth with a 13 per cent increase in comparison to December 2014.
26 per cent of 2016’s valuations came from first time buyers, with those selling property coming shortly behind at 25 per cent. Valuation activity for those looking to remortgage also surged 19 per cent from December 2015 to December 2016.
Corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, John Bagshaw, said: ‘The housing market has been recovering since September and had a great December. Compared to 2015 it looks good. Compared to December 2014 it looks exceptional. First time buyers and people selling property have regained much of the confidence they lost in the wake of the Brexit vote. 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.’
He continued: ‘In August the base rate was cut to 0.25 per cent, the first adjustment in over seven years. This led to lower mortgage rates which has fueled the remortgaging sector. 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. 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.’