UK housing market activity reached a six-month high in September, according to data out today from Connells Survey & Valuation.
Last month also saw the number of property valuations reach the second-highest monthly level on record – there were just 0.5 per cent fewer valuations carried out than in March 2015, which is when they hit a peak. Total valuation activity was up 29 per cent from last September, and up 23 per cent month-on-month from August.
The number of valuations carried out specifically for first-time buyers was up by 25 per cent compared with August, and increased by 18 per cent on September last year.
“First-time buyers aren’t just feeling more confident, they are now following this up with real action – and contributing a good portion of growth in the UK housing market,” said John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation.
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“There are no signs yet that schemes such as Help-to-Buy are going to be phased out, helping to suppress the barriers to setting a first foot on the ladder," he added.
“Meanwhile, wages are growing faster than inflation and purchase prices have cooled a little in recent months – all contributing to an acceleration in numbers of first time buyers.”
Bagshaw also said the latest focus from the government on starter homes is a “promising sign there is at least a strong intention to maintain support at the bottom of the ladder”.
Re-mortgaging also experienced another stand-out month, rising by 16 per cent on August and 49 per cent since September 2014.
Bagshaw said this was driven by the large number of good mortgage deals out there, as homeowners rush to capitalise on the value of their home while it is still relatively cheap to do so.