More homeowners on the move

10th September 2019

The state of the UK housing market can be difficult to understand, with different indicators painting a positive picture one day and then a less optimistic view the next.

The performance of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, is often heralded as good news for the housing market, having given more than £25bn in public money to both first time buyers and home owners looking to move.

However, recent figures published by Shelter, indicate the scheme was very good news for the biggest house building companies, like Persimmon who benefited with as much as half of their sales made in this way during 2018.

It was less good news for those households on less than £30,000 a year, with only 4,142 households in this income bracket making use of Help to Buy in the past year, compared to more than 5,500 households with an income over £80,000 – not what was intended surely?

At the same time, Government figures demonstrated the scheme is not being used by renters to make the move to becoming home owners, with just 0.2% of average renting households in the UK on an income of £27,000 or less utilising the scheme.

House price growth increases

Further figures released recently show the price of a home and therefore the deposit needed, had both risen during the past five years. The average UK deposit is now more than £100,000 for the third year in a row.

This surprising average deposit figure is of course skewed by the London housing market, which remains the most expensive in the UK, with a home costing an average of £650,000. That is around double the average for the rest of the country.

In recent years there has been a growing trend of homeowners opting to re-mortgage their existing property, presumably with the intention of extending or improving, rather than moving, with the growth in house prices a likely driver for this situation.

According to figures released by UK finance, the number of people re-mortgaging in June of this year was 16,880, an 8% rise on the previous year’s figures.

This reluctance to move on the part of many could also be explained, at least in part, by the fact that according to a recent survey by Lloyds Bank, the additional expenses of moving home, such as moving costs, estate agents fees and taxes, now amount to more than £12,000 for the average person.

Movers bucking the trend

Considering all of the above means it may seem slightly surprising to learn that the number of people actually moving home during the first half of the year, rose for the first time in 3 years.

In this period, 160,540 people moved home, an increase of 1%, on the same period last year. During the same six months, the number of first time buyers also went up, this time by 5% to 173,790.

The fact that the number of first time buyers is still higher than the number of home movers, is doubtless a reflection of the impact of the increased deposit required on more expensive properties, together with some Help-to-Buy influence.

This upward trend, and the home mover figure rising for the first time in 3 years, demonstrates the underlying resilience of the UK property market. It seems that, no matter what is thrown at them, people are still determined to take that step onto – or that move up – the property ladder.

If you are considering a move, here at Ansons we have a team of dedicated professionals who will guide you through the challenge of moving house and help make it happen. If you would like further information or advice, please contact Julie Tomasik on 0121 716 3732 or email