Four year high for first time buyer purchases
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance
First-time buyer numbers 'hit new low'
The amount of purchases among first time buyers rose to the highest level for four years in February, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey & Valuation.
The number of residential valuations conducted by Connells in February showed a monthly increase of 27 percent. On an annual basis, total valuations activity grew by 23 percent, the fifth month in a row of annual growth.
First time buyer numbers in February were at a four year high as the number of valuations grew to its highest point in any month since March 2009.
New buyers outnumbered those a year ago by 13 percent, with February seeing the sixth consecutive month of annual growth. Compared to January, February saw 25 percent more valuations on behalf of first time buyers.
John Bagshaw, Connell's corporate services director, said: “The wider economy might not be nurturing bright green shoots quite yet. However, for the housing market things are looking increasingly positive as a growing number of first time buyers feed into overall activity. While more severe weather in January could have delayed some activity in February, sentiment among buyers is improving. If last month’s trend continues, spring will certainly have sprung for the valuations market.”
Remortgaging activity in February was up 44 percent from the same point a year ago, after monthly growth of 33 percent. This brings remortgaging to just over one quarter of all valuations for the first time since January 2012.
Home movers showed a 25 percent monthly increase in activity, contributing to 16 percent annual growth.
Meanwhile, buy-to-let activity was 26 percent greater than in February 2012, mostly down to a 24 percent pick up from January 2013.
John Bagshaw continued: “Current mortgage holders are the biggest winners from Funding for Lending so far. The greater bulk of new deals emerging due to greater credit availability are aimed at existing homeowners, with sufficient equity to help bolster lenders’ balance sheets. Previous months have seen the lowest levels of remortgaging for some time, but looking forwards that seems set to change. The only major obstacle could be high remortgaging fees which need to be weighed against the longer term saving.
“Home movers saw continued progress, with a double digit boost in numbers from a year ago. Landlords and homeowners with equity looking to upsize are striking now, while prices are still below their past peaks in many parts of the country. Equally, while there is substantial regional variation, in areas like London equity growth has meant that many are either cashing in or downsizing. Alongside this buy-to-let is making steadier progress, and looks like it’s set to do so for the foreseeable future.”