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Valuations boosted by remortgages

Rising remortgage activity bolstered housing market activity in October, despite a decline in first-time buyer activity, data from Connells Survey and Valuation shows.


The total number of residential property valuations conducted in October was up by 3% compared to October 2009, largely driven by an increase in remortgaging activity, which rose by 78% on the same time last year.

Remortgaging now accounts for 17% of Connells’ valuations – the highest proportion since January 2009.

Overall activity fell slightly month-on-month, with total valuations down by 16% compared to September.

Ross Bowen, managing director of Connells Survey and Valuation, says valuation activity is in better shape than last year.

He says: “Higher remortgaging levels are playing their part. Thousands of homeowners, concerned over the direction of house prices, are delaying purchases.

“Instead, many are getting their finances in order for a longer stay. With cheaper fixed rate deals on the market and concerns over a potential interest rates hike, those who can afford to are remortgaging to avoid a future jump in monthly mortgage repayments.”

First-time buyer activity dipped in October, with the number of valuations for first timers down 23% compared to September. This represented a fall of 29% compared to October 2009.

The number of valuations for buy-to-let dropped slightly in October, falling by 14%, but increased by 45% increase on last year – albeit from a low base.

The number of homeowners on the move also slowed, falling by 11% – although October’s activity was on a par with last year.


FSA fines mortgage lender

The Financial Services Authority has fined small mortgage lender, Bridging Loans, £42,000 and its director Joseph Cummings £70,000 for serious failures relating to lending practices and for failing to treat customers fairly in arrears.


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