LloydsAug 21 2017

Stagnant homemovers market hitting first-time buyers: Lloyds

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Stagnant homemovers market hitting first-time buyers: Lloyds

The number of people moving house has stagnated, leaving fewer properties available for first-time buyers, a study has shown.

Figures from Lloyds show that there were 171,300 home movers in the first six months of 2017, down two per cent from the first half of 2016.

But the number of people moving house is still less than half its levels before the financial crash in 2007.

Since hitting a market low of 117,900 in the first half of 2009, the number of homemovers has grown by 45 per cent but is still low compared with the first half of 2007 when it was 327,600.

Homemovers account for around half (51 per cent) of the housing market compared to 64 per cent a decade ago.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said that despite continuing low interest rates and rising unemployment, the number of home owners “appears to have stabilised”.

“This has meant that homemovers now account for just half of today’s housing market compared to a decade ago when it accounted for two-thirds of the market,” he said. “This has a knock on affect for first time buyers as there will be fewer properties available for them also.”

The study also showed the house prices and deposits paid by home movers has risen to record levels.

Over the past five years, the average price paid by home movers has grown by 41 per cent from £206,122 in 2012, to £290,991 in June 2017. That is equivalent to a monthly rise of £1,414.  

In London the average home mover price has grown by 56 per cent since June 2012 to £561,032, making it the highest in the UK.

The average homemover price in the capital is 41 per cent higher than the South East where it is £397,452, which is the second most expensive. Northern Ireland has lowest average price of £165,404.

The average deposit put down by a home mover has increased by 40 per cent in the past five years, from £68,663 in 2012 to £96,109 in 2017. Londoners put down the largest deposit towards the purchase of their next home at £188,916.

Recent figures from UK Finance, which represents mortgage companies, showed first-time buyers were driving the market despite the historically low level of housing being built and the lack of homeowners moving.

They borrowed £5.9bn in June, up 26 per cent on the previous month and 9 per cent on June 2016. This equated to 36,000 loans, up 22 per cent month-on-month and six per cent year-on-year.