Valuation levels hold up ahead of election

Connells Survey and Valuation has played down concerns that uncertainty over this week’s election has dampened down appetite in the housing market.

Its figures shows that the number of valuations carried out by Connells dropped 4% in April compared to April 2009.

But its data also shows that for the three months to April Connells actually saw a 3% boost in total valuation activity compared to the previous three months.

There were 43% more valuations year-on-year.

Ross Bowen, managing director of Connells Survey and Valuation, says: The housing market has continued to recover steadily.

“There were concerns that in the build-up to the election, buyers and sellers would be distracted and sit on their hands – but that hasn’t been the case.

“Confidence is returning and this has been helped by marginal improvements in mortgage availability and news of the doubling of the stamp-duty threshold.”

Connells saw a surge in the number of sellers requiring valuations with 37% more valuations carried out in Q1 compared to the previous quarter.

Valuations for buy-to-let and remortgages also fared well, up 59% and 36% respectively.

But first-time buyer activity has been hit in the past three months, down 32% against the previous three months.

Bowen adds: “With the abolition of Home Information Packs on the political agenda, there was a concern that many sellers would to wait to see whether they might save money as a result of new government policy.

“We have also seen the trend of house price inflation continue from the trough in February 2009.

“Current homeowners have seen their properties regain the value lost in the downturn, and see now as a great time to move.”