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Sunday, 25 February 2018
THE number of home movers — current homeowners who are moving house — fell by two per cent in the first six months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review.
There were 171,300 home movers in the first half of 2017 compared with 174,300 in the same period last year.
The first half of 2016 saw 18,000 more home movers — an increase of 11 per cent compared with the first half of 2015.
This increase may have been due to owners making home purchases before the introduction of the new stamp duty charges for second and additional homes.
Since hitting a market low of 117,900 in the first half of 2009, the number of home movers has grown by 45 per cent (or 53,000).
However, the current numbers still remain at just under half (48 per cent) of what they were before the financial crash in the first half of 2007 (327,600).
A decade ago, just under two-thirds (64 per cent) of all house purchases financed by a mortgage were made by home movers.
In 2017, this proportion has dropped to almost half (51 per cent).
Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “In the past year, the number of home movers appears to have stabilised, despite continuing low interest rates and rising employment.
“There are a number of factors which could be influencing this.
“More people are paying off their mortgages and not moving. With supply at historic low levels there could be a shortage of suitable homes coming on the market. And the cost of moving house could be putting people off.
“This has meant that home movers now account for just half of today’s housing market compared to a decade ago, when they accounted for two-thirds of the market.
“This has a knock-on effect for first-time buyers as there will be fewer properties available for them also.”