The number of people moving home in the UK rose in the first half of 2019 for the first time in three years, according to recent research by Lloyds Bank. The number of homemovers in the UK was 160,540, up by 810 compared to the same period last year. However, this is against a backdrop of increasing house prices, rising deposits and climbing moving costs.
The 1% increase in the number of UK homemovers is not reflected in all regions, with some faring better than others. The North, South East and Scotland are seeing the number of homemovers fall, with drops of between 0.3% to 1.9% H1 2019. Those areas that reflected a positive move upward are the North West, West Midlands and Northern Ireland – all of which saw rises in the number of homemovers of around 2.5%. Taken as a whole, this results in a generally small increase for the UK homemover figures.
The research by Lloyds Bank has also identified that the increase in UK homemovers comes at a time when people are paying more than ever when it comes to both the cost of a new home and the expenses associated with moving house.
Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by a staggering 32% – some £79,627 – to now stand at £329,648. Predictably perhaps, it’s the South East that has seen the largest jump in prices, from £137,376 to an average figure now of £460,395 – an increase of some 43%.
London remains at the top of the costliest place to buy property charts, with house prices typically almost double the national average at an eye-watering £650,510. Northern Ireland is now the cheapest place to buy a property, with the average house price standing at £189,905.
If the rising expense of moving home ship wasn’t enough, prospective movers and buyers also have the headache of soaring deposit levels. In the last five years, deposits or required equity have grown by 22%, from £86,398 in 2014 to £105,260 today.
Again, this is an average figure with regional variations showing the same increase to a lesser or greater degree. A typical deposit in London will now cost you some £213,907 – an increase of 26% over the last five years. However, it’s Northern Ireland that has seen the biggest surge in deposit levels for the same period, increasing by some 52% to now stand at £56,763.
Andrew Bickers, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The homemover market has seen some positive movement in the first half of this year, but first-time buyers are still dominant in driving housing activity, helping to keep movement along the property ladder.
“The slow rate of homemovers reflects growing deposits, higher stamp duty charges and potential interest rate rises. The perfect ‘next’ homes are also becoming less available, such those with an extra bedroom and outdoor space – which is all in the mix when it comes to the number of movers we are seeing.”
Interestingly, the above figures from Lloyds Bank come at a time when Moneyfacts.co.uk has identified a growing trend in the competition between mortgage providers – particularly in the area of five year fixed rate products.
As per our recent story on the best residential mortgage rates, the average five year fixed rate mortgage has fallen from 2.84% to 2.79%. In addition, the gap between the average two and five year fixed mortgage rates has fallen by 0.325% – a drop of some 0.03% over the same period.
This, and the increase in the number of homemovers, represent a small net gain for the UK property market.
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