Housing market ‘shakes off blues’

Housing market ‘shakes off blues’

February has seen a housing market revival, with valuations increasing across all sectors, John Bagshaw, Connells’s corporate services director, has said.

Mr Bagshaw added: “After an extended period of fairly subdued activity it is encouraging to see the market shake off its winter blues.”

The total number of valuations carried out was 50 per cent higher than January, although it represented an 8 per cent fall year-on-year.

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First-time buyer activity reached an eight-month high with the second highest monthly growth after home-movers at 59 per cent. The number of valuations rose by 52 per cent, but saw a 4 per cent fall year-on-year.

Remortgage activity also saw a rise of just below 50 per cent. However, year-on-year it was the weakest sector with a 10 per cent drop .

The number of buy-to-let valuations followed up on January’s 37 per cent rise with a further rise of 41 per cent, an 8 per cent year-on-year gain. This was the only sector to post an annual increase.

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David Hollingworth, associate director of Bath-based London and Country Mortgages, said: “This is good news, but you would expect stronger figures. Mortgage rates are good, and threats of a rate rise has diminished, which will feed through. The second half of 2014 saw a threat of a rate rise, so the market slowed. The question is how much the election will effect the market, but it would appear the numbers are coming back.”