First-time buyer activity last month reached its highest level in two years, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey and Valuation.
The total number of residential valuations conducted during February was 31% more than a year ago, although this represented a month-on-month increase of 43%, as the usual seasonal rise was bolstered by a flurry of first-time buyers looking to beat the deadline for the stamp duty tax exemption.
Connells said that increasing demand from first-time buyers was a key factor in the annual growth in activity. The number of valuations for first-time buyers rose by 52% compared to February 2011, reaching the highest number since March 2009. This represented a 56% increase in the number of valuations for first-time buyers compared to January. As a result, first-time buyer demand accounted for 35% of all valuations completed – the highest proportion since September 2010.
John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey and Valuation, said: “There’s no doubt that the imminent deadline for the stamp duty holiday exemption has been a catalyst for first-time buyer activity. Many first-time buyers are now feeling a real sense of urgency