The number of people moving home has risen in the first half of 2019, despite deposits remaining at record highs.
The research by Lloyds Bank found that there were 160,540 homemovers in the first half of 2019, up by 810 (1%) compared with the same period in 2018. The number of first-time buyers increased at a slightly higher rate of 5% to 173,790 in the first half of 2019.
Four regions have seen increases in the number of homemovers. The North West is up 2.5% at 15,979, the West Midlands is up 2.6% at 13,634, and Northern Ireland is up 2.5% to 3,280. The South East still has the highest number of homemovers in the UK at 36,316, although this has dipped slightly over the last year.
Over the past five years, the cost of moving has risen significantly. The average price paid by homemovers has grown by a staggering 32%, from £79,627 to £329,648. The South East has seen the highest growth, from £137,376 to £460,395 (43%). This is followed by East Anglia (41%), Greater London (37%), and the North West and East Midlands both at 36%.
London remains the most expensive homeowner region, almost twice the UK average at £650,510. Deposits in the capital have increased to more than £200k for the first time, a 26% increase over the past five years. The least expensive homemover region is Northern Ireland, with an average price of £189,905. Deposits in Northern Ireland are the lowest at £56,763, but the region has seen the biggest increase over the past five years at 52%.
Andrew Bickers, Mortgages Director at Lloyds Bank, said:
“The homemover market has seen some positive movement in the first half of this year, but first-time buyers are still dominant in driving housing activity, helping to keep movement along the property ladder.
“The slow rate of homemovers is a reflection of growing deposits, higher stamp duty charges and potential interest rate rises. The perfect ‘next’ homes are also becoming less available, such those with an extra bedroom and outdoor space – which is all in the mix when it comes to the number of movers we are seeing.”
The average UK deposit remains at a record high of over £100,000 for the third consecutive year.