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Homemoving falls to lowest level since financial crisis

Written by: Samantha Partington
Homemoving in the first six months of 2020 fell to its lowest level since the aftermath of the financial crisis, as lockdown restrictions froze the housing market.

Analysis of homemoving activity in H1, which discounts first-time buyers, revealed the number of people selling up and buying a new property across the country fell by 31%.

Almost 107,000 people moved house, down by 48,535 year-on-year, according to Lloyds Bank. It is the fourth year in a row that homemoving activity has fallen and the greatest decline since the 2008 banking crisis.

In the past decade, homemoving peaked in the first half of 2016 when 167,820 people moved to another property.

The Lloyds report found Scotland’s movers’ market saw the biggest decline in the number of people moving home while homemoving activity fell the least in Greater London.

And over the past five years, the average deposit required to move home has risen by 16% from £89,909 in 2015 to £104,264 in 2020 – the third consecutive year that the average has topped £100,000.

Despite the increase in the amount of deposit needed to secure the next property, homemovers are getting younger.

The average age of someone moving house is now 39, compared to 42 in 2010. The oldest homemovers, aged 40-years-old, are in the East Midlands and Scotland, and the youngest are in London, aged 37-years-old.

Jo Harris, managing director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Never before have we seen the property market shut down in the way lockdown demanded.

“While a drop in homemovers by a third is a significant decline, and the largest drop we’ve seen in the UK since 2009, some may have predicted this figure to have been even lower, demonstrating the resilience of the UK housing market.

“The current stamp duty holiday and pent up demand has brightened the housing market outlook once again. While uncertainty around the lasting impact of the pandemic remains, at least for now the house market looks buoyant, with many people planning their next move after months spent at home during lockdown.”

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