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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing market activity at six-month high

UK housing market activity climbed to its highest level for six months in September.

The total number of property valuations was also the second-highest monthly level on record, according to new research from Connells Survey & Valuation.

September saw just 0.5% fewer valuations carried out than in March 2015, which was the highest on record.

Total year-on-year valuation activity is up 29% compared to September 2014, after a 23% month-on-month rebound on August.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells, said Britain’s housing market is going from “strength to strength”.

"Against a brightening economic background, players in all parts of the market are feeling more confident about their prospects. 

“Valuation activity is growing beyond the seasonal pick-up at the end of August, with year-on-year growth gathering momentum.”

The number of valuations specifically for first-time buyers rose by 25% in September compared to August. The figure also represents an 18% increase on September 2014.

Valuation activity among established home-movers performed even better.

The number of valuations carried out for those moving house rose 26% on August and 23% since September 2014.

Bagshaw added: “First-time buyers aren’t just feeling more confident, they are now following this up with real action – and contributing a good portion of growth in the UK housing market.

“There are no signs yet that schemes such as Help to Buy are going to be phased out, helping to suppress the barriers to setting a first foot on the ladder.

“Meanwhile, wages are growing faster than inflation and purchase prices have cooled a little in recent months – all contributing to an acceleration in numbers of first-time buyers.

“Home-movers have also been buoyed by the same trends. Rising real-term wages combined with steadily increasing property values mean that many of those who are already fortunate enough to have a place of their own feel it’s a great time to buy.”

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