UK house prices:numbers of home movers at nine-year high as rising property prices make stepping up the ladder easier

A new report reveals the number of home movers is on the rise as affordability for owners improves...

The number of home owners looking to move has reached its highest level since the economic crash of 2008.

Thanks largely to rising house prices boosting equity levels, the number of movers has increased by nine per cent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year.

This is almost 50 per cent higher than the market lows of early 2009 but is still around half the pre-crisis highs of 2007, according to a report by Lloyds Bank.

London compared to the rest of the UK
The average price paid by a home mover has increased the fastest in London, rising by 55 per cent, to £540,000, since June 2011.

This is 17 per cent higher than the nationwide average. Home mover house prices in the capital were typically more than double the UK average of £260,000.

Unsurprisingly, this means the deposits of the capital's home movers stand at an average of just over £192,000, more than twice the £95,000 average for the rest of the UK.

Second Steppers
Housing affordability for first-time owners looking to trade up - known as second steppers - has generally improved across the UK over the past five years.

It currently stands at 6.5 times average earnings, down from 7.3 in 2011, and is calculated by taking into account the average price of a typical second-stepper home, average equity and typical earnings.

However, affordability has fallen in London and the South East - the two regions with the highest house prices and fastest price growth - rising to an average of 10 times owners earnings.

"A favourable economic backdrop, record low mortgage rates and the stamp duty changes announced in December 2014 have supported the market," says Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage product director.

"Higher house prices have also boosted home mover equity levels which in turn have helped towards the purchase of the next home. This improvement is likely to have provided uplift to housing demand amongst existing homeowners, even though wage growth has not kept pace during this period."


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