On an annual basis, the increase represents an increase of 18%.
First-time buyer numbers climbed during the month, following the dip in April. The number of valuations for first-time buyers represented an 8% month on month rise and a 12% increase compared to May 2011. The number of first-time buyer valuations represented 32% of all those conducted by Connells in May, compared to 31% in April.
Improved first-time buyer activity contributed to an increased number of homeowners on the move. In May, there were 4% more valuations for home movers than in April – representing a 5% increase year-on-year.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, says: “Despite fears of a prolonged hangover after the passing of the Stamp Duty deadline, the immediate after-effects of the rush are already dissipating, with a steady improvement on April’s level of buyer activity.
“The additional working days in May compared to April helped buoy activity, with improved weather towards the end of the month contributing to improved buyer interest. We have seen encouraging signs of underlying demand in spite of the backdrop of a recessive economic climate, the re-imposition of Stamp Duty for first-timers, and lenders tightening their criteria.
“First-time buyer activity has shown its resilience following April’s lull, and the improvement has filtered up the chain, allowing an increased number of home owners to move.”
Although the number of remortgage valuations remained steady on a monthly basis, there were 23% more conducted during the month than a year ago, while the number of valuations for buy-to-let investors also increased in May, with 3% more than in April. This represented an increase of 78% annually – albeit from a low base.