Sun 14 Aug 2016 View all news articles

Number of homeowners moving at highest level in nearly a decade

The number of people moving house reached its highest level in nearly a decade this year thanks to rising prices and cheap mortgages.

Figures released today (Saturday, August 13) reveal that 174,000 sold up and moved on in the first six months of 2016. 

This is a rise of nine per cent on the same period last year and almost 50 per cent more than the post-2007 financial crash low. 

The increase has been attributed to a solid pre-Brexit British economy, low mortgage rates and a reduction in stamp duty rates for most buyers.

An increase in house prices has also contributed, with an increase in equity helping people move up the ladder. 

The figures emerged in the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review. The bank revealed the average deposit put down by a homemover is almost £100,000 - with Londoners putting down more than £190,000 on their next home

Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by 38 per cent from £206,997 in 2011, to £261,5504 in June 2016 - an increase of £78,609, equivalent to a monthly increase of £1,310. 

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage product director, said: "The homemover market is at a nine-year high after growing by nine per cent in the past year.

"A favourable economic backdrop, record low mortgage rates and the stamp duty changes announced in December 2014 have supported the market. 

"Higher house prices have also boosted homemover equity levels which in turn have helped towards the purchase of the next home.

"This improvement is likely to have provided uplift to housing demand amongst existing homeowners even though wage growth has not kept pace during this period." 

Despite being at a nine-year high, the number of homeowners moving is still down significantly on the pre-crash level of 327,600 in the first half of 2007.

However, the latest figures represent an increase of 48 per cent on the market low of 117,900, from the first half of 2009. 

There has also been an increase in the number of people taking out longer mortages, Lloyds revealed. 

In 2011, the proportion of people taking up a 25-35 year mortgage was nine per cent. This has now doubled to 18 per cent.

Source: Bath Chronicle

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