"While a drop in homemovers by a third is a significant decline, and the largest drop we’ve seen in the UK since 2009, some may have predicted this figure to have been even lower"
The number of people moving home dropped by 31% in the first half of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily halted the property market due to lockdown restrictions, according to figures from Lloyds Bank.
In the first six months of this year, 106,985 people moved house, down 48,535 compared with the same period in 2019.
This is the fourth consecutive annual fall and the greatest decline since the 2008 banking crisis. In the past decade, the volume of homemovers was at its highest peak in the first half of 2016 when 167,820 people moved to another property.
All UK regions have seen the number of homemovers fall in the first half of 2020. Greater London has seen the smallest fall of 25% and Scotland the largest by 37% when compared to the same period in 2019.
Homemovers account for just under half (48%) of the housing market and below first-time buyers for third consecutive year. In 2010, 62% of buyers were those moving up the ladder as opposed to first-time buyers.
Detached and semi-detached homes are the most popular homemover property types, each with a 30% and 29% share respectively. Over the past 10 years, detached homes have increased in popularity with homemovers from 21% in 2010 to 30%. Over the same period, the proportion of flats purchased has decreased by 5% to 9% and terraced houses by 4% to 23%. Only in London are terraced homes (37%) and flats (28%) more popular for homemovers.
Jo Harris, managing director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Never before have we seen the property market shut down in the way lockdown demanded. While a drop in homemovers by a third is a significant decline, and the largest drop we’ve seen in the UK since 2009, some may have predicted this figure to have been even lower, demonstrating the resilience of the UK housing market.
“The current stamp duty holiday and pent up demand has brightened the housing market outlook once again. While uncertainty around the lasting impact of the pandemic remains, at least for now the house market looks buoyant, with many people planning their next move after months spent at home during lockdown.”