Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Valuers have been busy

Valuations are increasing, says one of the larger estate agents, Connells, a sign that activity is "picking up".

These days we look for any straw in the wind for an indication that the housing market might be reviving.

I'm not talking about house prices going up. First time buyers and homeowners trading up want them to stay low.

The key factor is the number of transactions, which are running at half the level of the pre-recession boom.

Generally speaking, when you get a mortgage, you have to have a valuation done. So the number of valuations is an indicator of sorts.

Connells says there was a 7% rise in March compared to a year ago, the fourth month in succession which has seen an increase.

And valuations for the first quarter of 2011 as a whole were up 24% in number on the previous 3 months.

Valuations for first time buyers rose by 21% in March. Buy-to-let was busy too.

A dose of caution is in order here. The total was still 30% down on March, 2008, when the financial crisis was already underway, and 51% down on March, 2007.

And getting a valuation is not the same as completing a purchase.

But it could be a start.

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