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Residential Mortgage Valuations Unaffected by August Slowdown
According to a Connell's survey on housing market activity, mortgage valuations were virtually unaffected during August and were just 4% lower than July. They would normally decline by an average of 9% during July and August, but the number of valuations showed a year on year increase of 49% giving them their busiest August since 2007. Although the economic situation is still somewhat wobbly, the remortgaging market is doing well, and activity has increased month on month, and compared to August 2010 has increased by 108%.
It doesn't look as if interest rates will be increased for the foreseeable future, and even though they are at rock bottom there are so many good fixed-rate deals available that many homeowners are being tempted to lock in now. Another sector which is doing well is the buy to let sector, as growing numbers of investors are looking to purchase properties or are looking at remortgaging. There were 85% more valuations conducted in August this year than in August 2010.
In comparison the number of first-time buyers and owner occupiers looking to purchase properties decreased slightly compared to July, but was still higher than August 2010. The number of first-time buyers has increased by 21% when compared to August 2010, even though there was a 5% decline compared to July. At the moment house prices are average of 13% below 2007 peak values, and although lending criteria remains strict, there are lots of new products on the market including the somewhat controversial return of the 100% mortgage.