Connells Survey & Valuation has reported a sharp rise in valuations for buy-to-let investors looking to add to their portfolios, with volumes up by 10% in June compared to May, and increasing 12% on an annual basis.

Overall, the nationwide property firm saw a 20% rise in valuations, compared with a year earlier, taking volumes in the second quarter of 2010 up 13% on the same period of 2009.

However, first-time buyer volumes increased by a mere 1% in June, compared with a year earlier, suggesting that prospective homebuyers currently in rented accommodation are either choosing to stay put, or remain frozen out of the mortgage market by lenders’ demands for high deposits.

With average asking rents already at their highest levels since January 2009 (according to and reporting that letting agents’ stocks are typically down 20% on this time last year, landlords should be enjoying a relaxed summer.