Connells Survey and Valuation says the total number of valuations conducted in March showed a 21 per cent increase over the same month of 2015 but that the number of first time buyer valuations rose a whopping 41 per cent in the same period.
“[This] solid topline figure demonstrates the hardiness of the housing market, largely driven by first-time buyer activity. Increased determination on the part of this once-cautious sector, alongside a brightened economic outlook compared to a few years ago, have certainly been key drivers in activity” says John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation.
He says a significant reason for this resurgence is the increased uptake of government plans designed to assist the bottom of the market - such as Help to Buy.
Connells suggests that remortgagors and home movers have also seen a significant boost in valuation activity in March; total remortgaging volumes represented an increase of 25 per cent over the previous month and a rise of an much as 33 per cent on March 2015.
Home mover valuation activity grew by four per cent in March on a year-on-year basis and leapt by 27 per cent compared to the previous month.
“Those seeking to move up the property ladder are making solid strides this month. With home values high and continuing to increase across all parts of the country, albeit at an uneven pace, many property owners may view it as a good time to either upscale to something bigger and better or downsize and enjoy the surplus capital.
The stamp duty surcharge impacted the buy-to-let market in March.
Valuation activity in this sector dropped by 27 per cent between February and March 2016, as well as dipping by 36 per cent compared to the same month a year ago.