Lloyds Bank has reported that the number of people moving home increased for the first time in three years in the first half of 2019. There were 160,540 homemovers in the first half of 2019, up by 810 (1%) compared with the same period in 2018.
Homemovers are still behind first-time buyers however where the numbers increased at a slightly higher rate of 7,460 (5%) to 173,790 in the first half of 2019.
Regionally, the North, South East and Scotland are seeing falls (between 0.3% and 1.9%) in the numbers of homemovers in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
In 2019, four regions have seen increases in the numbers of homemovers by over 2% – North West (15,979 up 2.5%), West Midlands (13,634 up 2.6%) and Northern Ireland (3,280 up 2.5%).
The South East has the highest number of homemovers in the UK at 36,316 – this has dipped slightly (0.9%) over the last year and 9.5% below its 2014 high of 40,120.
Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by a staggering £79,627 (32%) to £329,648.
The South East has seen the highest growth, from £137,376 (43%) to £460,395 followed by East Anglia (41%), Greater London (37%), the North West and East Midlands (both at 36%).
London remains the most expensive homemover region, almost twice the UK average (£329,648) at £650,510. The least expensive homemover region is Northern Ireland with an average price of £189,905.
The amount of deposit or existing equity required has increased by 22% over the past five years from £86,398 in 2014 to £105,260 in 2019.
In the capital, the deposit required for London homes has increased to more than £200k (£213,907) for the first time, which represents an increase of 26% over the past five years. The next largest deposit amount is in the South East at £150,970 followed by South West (£117,298) and East Anglia (£110,207). All other regions have deposits at less than £100k.
Northern Ireland has the least amount of deposit required at £56,763 but 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.”