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Improving not moving is the new property trend

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

One in four homeowners want to move home within the next five years, but the costs involved make it hard to move up the ladder, Lloyds Bank has found.

As a result, three in five of those not looking to move are hatching plans to improve their existing home instead.

They cite a shortage of suitable housing, increasing house prices and the house moving process as reasons why improving appeals more than moving.

High costs

A fifth (22%) of homeowners admit that the cost of moving is the key blocker for buying their next home, according to a report by the lender.

Plus, wider financial pressures may also be constraining house purchases, with one in three homeowners (32%) admitting they would need a significant pay rise to help make the jump.

This is even more pronounced for the younger generation; over half (57%) of 25 to 34-year-olds said they need an income boost.

Long-term lull in moving

Six in 10 people believe that people are now moving less frequently – and they are right.

So far this year there were around 367,000 homemovers, edging down from 371,900 over the same period a year earlier, a fall of 1%.

Since hitting a market low of 275,000 in the same 12-month period in 2009, the number of homemovers has grown by 33%. However, the current numbers still remain at just under half (48%) compared to 705,900 seen a decade earlier in 2007.

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The combination of the increased cost of moving and a lack of fresh stock coming to the market appears to be making it harder to move and we have seen more homeowners staying put and looking to add value to their homes instead.

“Whilst this isn’t great news for the housing market where sales have remained flat or fallen over the past few months, encouragingly some homeowners are still motivated and want to move. We may start to see more movement early next year with the stamp duty move helping to increase demand.”