Buy To Let Increase Causes Rise in Activity

Valuations activity in November saw an annual rise after a strong performance from the buy-to-let sector, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Reports.

The total number of residential valuations was 3% higher than a year ago. This improvement came despite a monthly fall in activity of 1%, although looking back over the last five years this was less than the average fall of 3% recorded between October and November.

New buy-to-let valuations were central to the strength of November’s figures, with a 14% rise in activity in the sector compared to October, leaving buy-to-let activity 18% higher than a year ago. Buy-to-let valuations made up 16% of the market, the highest level since 2007.

Funding for Lending has changed lenders’ behaviour, and prospective landlords have benefited as a result. Cheaper credit from the Bank of England has so far mainly gone to lower LTV products, such as buy-to-let mortgages, due to the requirements on banks to simultaneously hold more capital. Meanwhile, investors are picking up on the severe lack of supply and strong yields in the lettings market, making good use of these cheaper mortgages.

While first time buyer activity may have weakened in the month, down 8% from October, it was still 4% above the level seen a year ago.