Valuations up, especially for first time buyers

Alex Johnson

a50e3fa281f71cb7b566ae20ef79e77f6e93b925 300x199 Valuations up, especially for first time buyersThe number of valuations rose for a third consecutive month in December, thanks to significant growth in buy-to-let and with the help of first time buyers.

The number of residential valuations conducted by Connells in December was 2% higher than a year ago and the total number of valuations in 2012 was 12% higher than in 2011 (and the highest since 2007).

“2012 was the best year for the valuations market since the credit-crunch began,” said John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments. “We usually see the market pause for breath in December, and this was certainly the case compared to November. But three months of annual growth in valuations show how the mortgage market is now making steady, if still gentle progress.”

In December there were 22% more buy-to-let valuations than 12 months previously and over the whole of 2012, buy-to-let activity grew by 33% compared to 2011. This represents 14% of all valuations in 2012, an increase from 12% in 2011.

Meanwhile, valuations for first time buyers grew 11% from December 2011. “There were improvements in mortgage availability in the latter months of the year,” said Bagshaw, “but lenders’ criteria are still putting the brakes on serious progress. For first time buyer numbers to really build up any steam this year, more buyers without substantial deposits will need to be able to access the finance they need to leave the private rented sector and overcome a difficult saving environment.”

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