Housing market sees a burst of spring activity as valuations rise

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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PROPERTY valuations in March have risen by their highest levels since 2007, according to surveyors.

Valuations increased 36 per cent on the month and 42 per cent compared to last year, new figures released by estate agent Connells show.

First time buyer valuations nearly matched the rest of the market, rising 33 per cent on the month and 40 per cent year-on-year.

Activity on behalf of those further up the property ladder also saw rapid growth, but at a slower pace than for first time buyers. Valuations on behalf of established home movers picked up by 32 per cent on a monthly basis and by 23 per cent over the last twelve months.

“Optimism looks to be catching, seeping from the wider economy and jobs situation 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,” said Connells’ John Bagshaw.

He added that initiatives such as the Help to Buy ISA has boosted interest from first time buyers.

Bagshaw said: “Whether this is a good thing demands a political answer, but the housing market has felt the effect. For a considerable time, activity at the bottom of the property ladder has grown faster than activity among households who already own their home.”