According to the latest research by Connells Survey and Valuation, the housing market renewed its pace of recovery in February after subdued growth in January, with the number of valuations on residential housing growing by 61%.

The positive trend of year-on-year increases also continued, with the number of valuations conducted in February up by 22% on the number a year ago. Activity has now grown year-on-year for 6 months in a row.

Ross Bowen, the Managing Director of Connells Survey and Valuation comments: “Traditionally, the valuations market begins to see a boost in activity in January following the Christmas lull. January witnessed a hangover from re-instating the lower stamp duty threshold while the arctic weather conditions disrupted some buying activity. However, February saw househunters back on to the streets in force, with activity bouncing back as a result.”

The increase in activity has been fuelled by first-time buyers. In February, 63% more first-timers requested a valuation than in January – boosting the number above levels seen a year ago. There was also a substantial month-on-month rise in valuations conducted for current home owners looking to move (+43%).

Remortgaging and buy to let activity also surged upwards – valuations for buy to let investors rose by 81%, and remortgaging levels doubled compared to January. However, this was from a low base. With mortgage finance conditions still difficult, remortgaging valuations were less than 30% their level in February 2008. Buy to let was 30% lower than 2008.