16th October 2015
Remortgage activity outperformed all other areas of the UK`s housing market, according to the latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation.
The data reveals that the number of valuations for this type of mortgage surged 25 per cent between July and last month and 102 per cent compared to August 2014 indicating that more people are looking to release equity from their homes or reduce their monthly repayments.
However, when we look at the housing market as a whole, valuation activity was much more restrained, with a rise of just seven per cent registered last month versus July. According to John Bagshaw, corporate services director, this increase was largely driven by remortgaging.
He said: `Due to the very low Bank of England (BoE) base rate, there are currently some very appealing remortgaging deals on offer from lenders.`Mr Bagshaw explained that the surge could be partly because of a perception among homeowners that the favourable deals they are seeing now won`t last for much longer, with the BoE looking to raise rates, but this is unlikely to happen in 2015.
According to the corporate services director, the rise in remortgages is a long term shift rather than a temporary change. Homeowners are now looking at refreshing and upgrading their property rather than selling up and moving, meaning they are on the hunt for the best deals.
The data from Connells Survey and Valuation paints a picture of a stable market, with both first time buyers and veterans feeling more optimistic about the residential real estate sector now than they were at the same point in 2014. This is evident from the strong and steady growth that has been seen in 2015 so far.
Furthermore, the number of valuations arranged by existing owner occupiers looking to move and purchase a new home climbed three per cent between July and August this year, contributing to a 30 per cent year on year increase.
The picture for first time buyers is very similar, with number of valuations performed last month climbing one per cent annually. This is encouraging, as those looking to get on the first rung of the property ladder are facing some of the toughest house market conditions in Europe, according to separate research from the ING International Survey on Homes and Mortgages.
Mr Bagshaw says: `Home mover and first time buyer activity has seen sizeable and speedy growth over the last six months, so a period of more stable growth is a sign of consolidation.`
And he notes that the data shows that these sectors are able to command long term momentum and indicates that households have a `more stable` optimism for their future.
Low mortgage rates and healthy price growth are helping owners to move up the ladder, while first time buyers who don`t have the benefit of having a deposit made from the sale of their home are demonstrating resilience in the face of rising prices.
The data from Connells Survey and Valuation reveals that the only sector that didn`t experience growth between July and August was buy to let, with valuations in this area dropping by five per cent. The same period last year saw a rise of 29 per cent.
However, Mr Bagshaw believes investors shouldn`t be concerned, as the fundamentals of the rental market remain strong, driven by tenant demand.
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