The number of homemovers across the UK fell by 4% to an estimated 360,200 in the past year, accounting for less than half of the housing market, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review.
This comes just a year after the number of homemovers – current homeowners moving house – had risen by 4%. The change in fortune is potentially fuelled by a shortage of suitable properties for sale, but also reflects the broader housing market which is currently showing little sign of movement.
The number of first-time buyers, however, increased 3% in 2018 buoyed by changes to Stamp Duty and the continuation of the Help to Buy scheme. It is the first year since 1995 that people buying their first home account for more of the market than homemovers (51% vs 49%).
Andrew Mason, mortgage products director, Lloyds Bank, said, “For the first time since the mid-90s, there are more people buying their first home than moving. The number of first-time buyers continues to increase as a result of schemes such as Help to Buy and changes to Stamp Duty. Yet, people moving up the ladder are facing into a slower housing market which could be fuelling a shortage of suitable homes.
“The cost of moving home is putting even more pressure on homemovers. With an average deposit now at just below £100,000 and Londoners expecting to pay double, it’s not surprising that people are taking longer to make their next move.”