The latest data and analysis from Lloyds Bank has revealed that the UK is on the move. According to the figures, the number of people moving home is at its highest level since 2007.
Lloyds found that the number of homemovers - current homeowners moving house - across the UK increased by 2% to an estimated 370,300 in the past year.
The slight increase in homemovers could be a result of continued low mortgage rates and high demand for homes, which have made it easier for homemovers to take the next step on the housing ladder. The increase in 2017 follows a decline in the number of homemovers reported in 2016, which fell for the first in five years.
Since hitting a market low of 315,000 in 2009, the number of homemovers has grown by 18% (or 55,300). However, the current number is still 43% below the level of 653,700 seen in 2007.
Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “We’ve seen a slight increase in the number of homemovers following a weak 2016. This could be down to low mortgage rates, rising house prices and high employment levels.
House price increases will have boosted equity levels for many home owners, enabling movement along the housing ladder. For the first time, homemovers are choosing to pay an average deposit of over £100,000, with Londoners putting down nearly double this. Taking advantage of increased equity levels by putting down a bigger deposit can really make a big difference towards what homemovers can afford and can be the difference between a good home and the right home.”
Greater London homemover numbers decline in past year
High house prices in London have adversely impacted the homemover market in the capital, with numbers of homemovers falling by 6% to 22,600 in the past year – the only region to have a decline in numbers.
The South East region has the highest number of homemovers at 65,400 - more than double the next highest region, South West with 27,500. Northern Ireland has the lowest number at 4,400.
Homemover prices and deposits rise to record levels
Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by 44% (£90,879) from £205,852 in 2012, to £296,731 in 2017.
In London, the average price a homemover pays has grown by 59% since 2012 to £568,816, the highest in the UK. The average homemover price in the capital is 40%, or £161,429, higher than the South East (£407,386) which is the second most expensive. Northern Ireland has lowest average price of £164,878.
The average deposit put down by a homemover has also increased by 45% in the past five years, from £69,089 in 2012 to £100,387 in 2017. Londoners require the largest deposit of £196,535 towards the purchase of their next home, which is four times the average homemover deposit of £46,032 in Northern Ireland.
However, whilst Londoners pay the highest deposit in monetary terms, homemovers in East Anglia pay the largest deposit as a proportion of average house price – 37% (£110,321), followed by both South East and South West (36%).
Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of Emoov.co.uk, commented: “An increase in the number of homemovers is an encouraging sign given the tougher market conditions post-Brexit and this has no doubt been helped by the low barrier of cost where borrowing money is concerned.
While a boost in equity will have also aided many homemovers to take the next step, perhaps the most important change the market has seen, is the increasing number of first-time buyers. This is particularly encouraging when you consider the huge barrier of unaffordability not just where the price of a property is concerned, but also the initial deposit required to secure it.
Over the last year or so, market uncertainty has deterred many from committing to a sale in fear of cashing out too early on their existing asset. It’s this increasing level of first-time buyer demand that has kept the market ticking over as a result of their aspiration to become homeowners, not their desire to profit from their existing home.
Despite benefiting from years of heightened price inflation, London continues to feel the brunt of the market slowdown with those already residing in the capital deciding it is better to stay put then to make a move, in what is currently the worst performing region of the UK."