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FTBs drive mortgage market forward

FTBs drive mortgage market forward

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 07/04/2010
First Published: 07/04/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
First time buyer helped push the property market forward during March, as the number of valuations increased by a quarter in the month.

Following two successive month-on-month rises, the number of valuations conducted in the first three months of this year was 15 per cent higher than in the final quarter of 2009.

And figures from Connells show that the improving sentiment is being largely driven by first time buyers, despite the end of the £175,000 stamp duty holiday on 31 December last year and the new threshold of £250,000 not beginning until 25 Mar

In the first quarter of this year, ten per cent more first time buyers requested valuations, compared with the last three months of 2009, including a 12 per cent month-on-month rise in March.

There was also a marked quarter-on-quarter rise (14 per cent) in valuations conducted by existing homeowners looking to move.

"It's very encouraging news that first-timers haven't lost interest in buying a home following the end of the stamp duty holiday," said Ross Bowen, managing director of Connells survey and valuation.

"In fact, we conducted only 16 per cent fewer valuations for first-times than we did in 2008, and we are yet to see the impact of the doubling of the threshold for first time buyers."

Remortgaging and buy-to-let activity also increased last month, with valuations for buy-to-let investors rising by 19 per cent and remortgaging business increasing by 38 per cent, compared with levels seen in the last quarter of 2009.

Mr. Bowen said that there were signs that lenders were beginning to offer a wider range of products and relax their criteria, with many offering products that require just a ten per cent deposit.

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