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Connells insists housing market is robust despite EU referendum jitters

Valuation activity in May rose by nearly a fifth on an annual basis despite the upcoming EU referendum according to research from Connells Survey & Valuation.

Overall, the total number of housing valuations carried out in May this year was 18 per cent higher than in May 2015, while on a monthly basis valuation activity in May decreased by just one per cent compared to April this year.

“Some month-on-month cooling could still be a result of stamp duty changes that came into effect at the start of April. However once that stamp duty-related instability has passed, there appears to be a steadier annual growth and a more positive outlook for the housing market. Even if the EU referendum does have a measureable impact, one thing is clear – any slump hasn’t happened yet” says John Bagshaw, corporate services director.

First-time buyer and remortgaging valuation activity grew 37 per cent and 42 per cent respectively last month, when compared to May 2015. 

The buy-to-let sector experienced the sharpest decline compared to other sections of the market, contracting [over the month] by 38 per cent. However when compared to May 2015, the number of valuations for buy-to-let purposes has also seen the greatest percentage growth compared to April – up by eight per cent.

“First time buyers are also on the up. Factors such as low inflation, rising wages and government schemes are all helping new owners onto the property ladder” says Bagshaw.

“Even for the much-downplayed buy-to-let industry, May was a good month. Valuations on behalf of landlords have been leading the housing market since April. Annual growth is likely to stay negative for buy-to-let activity, but the most recent signs are positive.”

The number of valuations for existing owner-occupiers seeking to move home in May grew by nine per cent since May 2015 and contracted by just one per cent compared to April 2016, in line with figures for total valuations activity.

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