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Home mover numbers overtake first time buyers

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The number of people moving home outpaced the number purchasing their first property in Q1 2021, UK Finance has reported. Home mover numbers over the past decade have hovered at around half of those seen prior to the 2008 financial crisis. With the pandemic prompting many to reassess their home and lifestyle priorities, however, home mover activity in Q1 2021 shot up by 82% compared with the previous year.

Changing fortunes

This compares with a more subdued 31% increase for first-time buyers (FTBs), largely due to the disappearance of higher LTV mortgages during 2020 and the disproportionate economic impact of the crisis on younger people. Meanwhile, government property measures such as the Stamp Duty holiday largely favoured movers, with FTBs already benefiting from favourable Stamp Duty treatment prior to its introduction.

The data also revealed that many homeowners have substantial existing equity after nearly a decade of rising house prices, with half of mortgaged homeowners holding at least 50% equity and a further third between 25% and 50%. Together with government concessions, this was a key contributor to the strength of home mover activity, UK Finance said.

What does the future hold?

New government measures for FTBs, including the recently launched First Homes scheme and the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, should help redress the balance as we advance into H2 2021. Meanwhile, the market continues to witness high demand from all sectors, with supply struggling to keep up.

Whether you’re an FTB or home mover, we’re here to assist with sound mortgage advice.