British homeowners now moving house half as often as a decade ago

Gabrielle Pickard
Written by Gabrielle Pickard

Research by international Estate Agency Savills found that the appetite for new property is still low a decade after the financial crisis, with the rate that people are choosing to move house halving over the course of ten years.

The investigation shows that while people before 2008 moved an average of around 3.6 times following their first home purchase, that figure is now only about 1.8 times nowadays. However, it has been matched by an upsurge in the number of extensions on properties being completed, as families find new ways to get more space.

Savills worries that if people are refusing to move to a new house, then there is little point attempting to get potential first-time buyers a first step in the housing market.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, told the BBC:

“Those not trading up are the forgotten people of the housing market.

“We’ve concentrated on first-time buyers. They get the concessions and all the focus has been on getting people onto the housing ladder.”

Further research broke down the rate that families moved into regional trends. Those moving house on average the most often were in Wandsworth, Basingstoke and Deane, Norwich, Rushmoor, Lambeth, Corby, Swindon, Aylesbury Vale, South Norfolk, and Bracknell Forest.

On the other hand, those who tended to stay put the most were found in Pembrokeshire, Harrow, Ceredigion, Blaenau Gwent, Brent, Wolverhampton, Isle of Anglesey, Sefton, Newham, and Redbridge.

In many cases, the cause of choosing not to move is high property prices – particularly in London and other main cities. However, there is also a less predictable trend of people being unable to move due to their current property making little to no increase in value.

“If you’re finding it much more difficult to move, that has a big impact on labour mobility”, concluded Cook.

Ed Mead, Co-Founder of Viewber, offered Agent Wow his thoughts on house moving figures:

“What’s often ignored in such stats is the huge take HMRC is missing out on when people move. The substantial supply chain and its tax contributes via builders, solicitors, agents, decorators, white good suppliers, carpets and soft furnishings etc., etc. The short-sighted view on SDLT has contributed heavily to the downturn in the figures.”

About the author

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle brings more than a decade’s writing and editing experience, having been creating and editing high quality content for a wide range of publications in the property sector, reporting about the latest trends, news and developments in this fast-paced industry that doesn’t stand still for a second.

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