First-time buyers 'driving' housing market as they overtake home-mover numbers

The proportion of first-time buyers snapping up homes has overtaken the number of existing home-owners moving house for the first time since 1995, analysis has found.

Across the UK there were 170,000 home-movers in the first half of 2018 compared with 175,500 first-time buyers, according to the Lloyds Bank Homemover Review, which only looked at properties bought with a mortgage.

It was the first six-month period when the proportion of first-time buyers had been higher than home-movers since the first half of 1995.

Moving costs, a lack of suitable properties and potential interest rate rises may be weighing on home-owners' minds when deciding whether or not to move, the report suggested.

Over the past five years, the average price paid by home-movers for a property has surged by more than a third (35%) or £77,457 - from £219,479 in 2013 to a record high of £296,936 in 2018 Lloyds said.

In East Anglia, the average price a home-mover pays has ballooned by 46% since 2013 to £305,612 - the highest rate of growth Lloyds found across the UK.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: "Despite continuing low mortgage rates, the home-mover market has stabilised with little movement in the first half of this year to leave first-time buyers now driving housing activity.

"This may be in part due to the Help to Buy scheme enabling first-time buyers to purchase a new property, combined with the low availability of the 'right type' of homes for those looking to move up the housing ladder.

"The costs of moving house and potential further interest rate rises may also be weighing on potential home-buyers' minds.

"However, it is good to see the number of first-time buyers increasing, helping to keep some movement along the property ladder."

The report is based on estimates from Lloyds, using its own housing statistics database as well as data from official sources.

Here are the average house prices for home-movers, followed by the percentage increase in prices since 2013, according to the Lloyds Bank Home Mover Review:

- North East, £189,073, 25%
- Yorkshire and the Humber, £214,690, 32%
- North West, £224,175, 34%
- East Midlands, £245,425, 44%
- West Midlands, £257,149, 36%
- East Anglia, £305,612, 46%
- Wales, £210,903, 25%
- South West, £313,646, 35%
- South East, £412,759, 45%
- London, £566,200, 45%
- Northern Ireland, £170,031, 31%
- Scotland, £209,496, 21%

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