Home movers in the UK increased in 2014 but well below recent highs

Last year there was an 8% rise in the number of home movers, the highest annual total since 2007 but still little more than half the average between 2004 and 2007, new data shows.


The research from Lloyds Bank also shows that the average deposit put down by a home mover in 2014 was £83,302 and stamp duty changes saved the average home owner nearly £5,000.

The data also shows that the number of home movers in 2014 was 16% higher than in 2009 at the depth of the recent housing market recession. However, despite the pick-up in recent years, the number of home movers last year was still less than half the all-time high recorded in 2004 of 886,700 and just over half the average during between 2004 and 2007.

First time buyer numbers have risen significantly quicker than home movers over the last few years. As a result, home movers have declined as a proportion of all new mortgage financed home purchasers from 71% in 2004 to 54% in 2014.

Since 2009, the average price paid by a home mover has grown by 26% from £199,645 to £252,064 in 2014, an increase of £52,418, equivalent to a monthly rise of £874. Home mover property prices increased by 9% in 2014.

The average deposit put down by a home mover in 2014 was £83,302, some 9% higher than in 2013 when it was £76,739. This equates to 33% of the average price paid by home movers of £252,064.

Regionally, home movers in London put down the largest average deposit of £166,265, some 35% of the average property value of £480,416. This is more than four times the average deposit put down by home movers in Northern Ireland at £40,128, the lowest in the UK.

Home movers in the South West put down the largest average deposit in percentage terms at 36%.

The report says that the recent changes to the stamp duty system have saved the average home mover £4,958, reducing the tax bill for the average home mover property of £252,064 from £7,561 to £2,603.

‘House price rises over the past 12 months have enabled more homeowners to make the next move on the housing ladder. The resulting higher levels of equity in their property are providing homeowners with more funds to finance the purchase of their next home,’ said Andy Hulme, Lloyds Bank mortgages director.

‘A steady rise in property values in 2015 should further ease the constraint on many of those who bought their first home around the peak of the market in 2006 and 2007, enabling more of them to become second steppers,’ he added.

The research also shows that second steppers, those looking to get on the second rung of the housing ladder, have benefitted. Higher house prices have increased the equity of those still living in their first homes enabling more of those who previously had either very low or negative levels of equity to make their first home move.

Recent research shows that first time buyers typically stay in their first home for four years and five months. The research also shows that buying a detached home is now the most popular choice for second steppers.

Those potential second steppers who bought their first home four years and five months ago in 2010 are estimated to now have an average equity level of £76,131. This is equivalent to 25% of the average price of a typical second stepper home at £299,428. The estimated equity level has risen by over £10,000 in the past year from £66,097 due to an increase in the prices paid for first time buyer homes.

There are substantial differences in housing affordability across the country, with northern regions being more affordable than southern regions for second steppers. Indeed, use prices paid by a typical second stepper are now lower than a decade ago as a multiple of earnings at 6.7 times gross annual average earnings in 2014 compared with seven in 2004.

Northern Ireland at 5.4, East Anglia at 5.6 and the East Midlands at 5.9 are the most affordable regions for those in their first home looking to take their next step on the property ladder. The least affordable regions for second steppers are London at 11.3, the South East at 9.4 and the South West at 8.2.


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