FTB demand lifts housing and home insurance market activity

Resilient first time buyers drove the monthly increase in the number of total valuations conducted in November with an overall rise of 3 per cent more

implemented in the month in comparison to October. The total number of valuation carried out in November represented an annual increase of 73 per cent according to the latest figures from the Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey and Valuations.
The uplift in first time buyer activity was the key factor in the increased level of mortgage activity in November with number of valuations carried out for first timer’s rising by 7 per cent and representing 29 per cent of all valuations conducted by Conells Survey and Valuation. The figure illustrated the highest proportion of FTB’s since August and as well as obtaining mortgages these new buyers will also likely consider contents only insurance for their new purchases. This upturn follows a monthly decline to 27 per cent of all valuations in October.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey and Valuation said “In November, first-time buyers exploited a short window of opportunity as rates for higher LTV mortgages improved briefly. With house prices steadily declining, affordability has improved for new buyers, many of those able to secure mortgages have been acting quickly to complete before Christmas.”
Chancellor George Osborne’s decision not to extend the Stamp Duty holiday for first time buyers is likely to elevate the number of buyers seeking to move before March in the short term according to the corporate services director. Bagshaw added “But in the long term, the recovery of transactions will be led by lenders’ ability to unlock the lower tier of the market. The new mortgage indemnity scheme is a step in the right direction but the treat of the Eurozone crisis –combined with the abolition of the Stamp duty holiday – may undermine its impact in the coming year.”

Remortgaging activity including our own as London mortgage brokers also provided an added boost to the improved valuations market in November. Remortgages represented an increase of 92 per cent compared to last year even though this was from a relatively low base. One fifth of all valuations conducted in October were for remortgages, up by 12 per cent from Octobers figures.

The demand for the buy-to-let finance remained robust in November showing a rise of 7% in the number of valuations conducted for buy-to-let investors than in October. On the other hand, November did see the number of valuations carried out for home movers fall by 8% compared to the previous month however despite this there were still 60 per cent more than a year ago. There are a number of Buy to let products coming on to the market and we are seeing more competitive deals being introduced. Lenders looking to increase share in this market have launched a number of best value remortgages, some providing free valuations or legal conveyancing.