According to the latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation, December rounded off 2014 with year-on-year growth of 9% in valuations activity.However, on a monthly basis, there was...

According to the latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation, December rounded off 2014 with year-on-year growth of 9% in valuations activity.

However, on a monthly basis, there was a 17% fall in total valuations. This is a fraction under the average 18% drop, seasonally recorded from November to December every year since 2010.

John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments, “In recent months the housing market has bounced back despite fears of a cooling market in the autumn. This latest increase in valuations activity does contrast with more rapid expansion recorded earlier in 2014. But a more balanced and sustainable pick-up bodes well for 2015.”

The strongest performing sector was remortgaging, with one of the smallest monthly falls recorded (7%). It also saw a strong 25% surge year-on-year to December.

John continues: “Thousands of households are taking advantage of the record low rates and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. For example, just this week Barclays launched a new 10 year fixed rate at less than 3%. At the same time, the relative strength in remortgaging activity in December can be partly explained by the fact it isn't as heavily influenced by seasonal factors. While home movers and first time buyers may typically avoid a busy upheaval during the festive period, for remortgagers this period is not as disruptive.

However, remortgaging has wind in its sales as we enter 2015. With the Bank rate set to remain at its historic low for some time, lenders will probably be able to offer even more competitive rates very soon.”

First time buyer activity also saw notable annual growth. Annually the number of valuations for FTBs grew by 9%, despite the 16% drop compared to the previous month.

In contrast, the BTL sector experienced one of the biggest falls in activity both on a monthly and annual basis. Compared to November 2014, activity fell 33% while on an annual basis it was down 9%.