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.