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Good News for Home Movers and Property Values

After a lengthy period of comparative quiet in the property market, a recent survey shows encouraging figures with a strong rebound in the number of home movers.

Home mover activity was previously sluggish, with weak growth being reported through 2014’s final quarter as well as the first month of 2015. But a positive economic outlook and low mortgage rates have created a shift in consumer behaviour.

Although activity surged across the entire housing market, home movers were at the forefront with a 59% rise on a monthly basis, according to the data from Connells Survey and Valuation.

Despite the force of this increase, home mover valuations in February were still 8% lower than the year before.

The fact that all the sectors posted sizeable gains is especially positive.

Research shows that UK property valuations recently went up across all sectors, with the total number being 50% higher than in January.

The data also demonstrates that activity among first-time home buyers reached an eight-month peak in February, posting the highest monthly growth after home movers. Valuations went up by 50% compared to January, while on an annual basis there was a minor decrease of 3%.

The last time the sector experienced such an activity boost was during the rush prior to the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) halting mortgage funding in January 2014. The new Starter Homes project should offer added support to the sector.

The scheme is not a large one, but the 20% discount being offered to first-time homebuyers under 40 indicates that the government is showing some support to that buyer segment.


Specialists in Construction Insurance

The number of buy to let valuations reached a high of 41% in February, following January’s increase of 37%. These monthly increases spurred an 8% year on year gain in the sector, making it the only one to report an annual increase.

The continuation of a weak inflation has had a dampening effect on worries about an increase in interest rates. As a result, there is growing confidence among both borrowers and lenders alike as low mortgage rates continue to present attractive deals. As long as inflation remains comparatively low, many believe that the sector will continue to do well.

Remortgages were in accord with the positive market trend, experiencing sector growth of close to 50%, but year on year activity made it the weakest-performing sector, with a 10% decrease in the number of valuations. Remortgaging activity has however gone up substantially compared to January as borrowers seek to cash in on competitive deals.

For borrowers who want to reduce their monthly costs, there are a lot of options available: the combination of low interest rates and favourable pricing from lenders is resulting in competitive opportunities everywhere.


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