Remortgage sector surges in December

The remortgage sector saw valuations surge by 25% year-on-year and 7% month-on-month, but on the flipside the buy-to-let sector had a poor month, as activity fell by 9% annually and 33% monthly.

Activity dropped by 17% from November to December overall, but such a decrease was less than the average reduction of 18% between the two months since 2010.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “In recent months the housing market has bounced back despite fears of a cooling market in the autumn.

“This latest increase in valuations activity does contrast with more rapid expansion recorded earlier in 2014.

“But a more balanced and sustainable pick-up bodes well for 2015.”

Homemover activity increased by 2% annually but dropped by 22% month-on-month.

First-time buyer activity increased by 9% year-on-year, with valuations dropping by 16% from November to December.

Bagshaw added: “After a slightly disappointing performance in October and November, first-time buyer activity seems to have regained strength.

“This sector of the property market was particularly affected by the spate of regulatory policies such as the loan to income caps.

“Coupled with rising house prices these lending restrictions have proven a hurdle for first-time buyers.

“Activity from landlords contrasts sharply. Throughout 2014 buy-to-let has performed consistently well.

“However, this December data makes the prospects for this sector look a little more uncertain in 2015.”