The proportion of home movers buying homes has dropped from just under two-thirds to 51% in the past decade, figures show.
Lloyds Bank’s Home Mover Review for the first half of 2017 showed there were 171,300 home movers using mortgages in the first half of 2017 compared with 174,300 in the same period last year, down 2%.
Looking at the past five years, average prices paid by home movers have shot up 41% to £290,991, while average deposits have risen 40% in the same period, from £68,663 in 2012 to £96,109 in 2017.
Andrew Mason, mortgages products director for Lloyds Bank, said: “In the past year, the number of home movers appears to have stabilised despite continuing low interest rates and rising employment.
“There are a number of factors which could be influencing this: more people are paying off their mortgages and not moving, with supply at historic low levels there could be a shortage of suitable homes coming on the market, and the cost of moving house could be putting people off.
“This has meant that home movers now account for just half of today’s housing market compared to a decade ago when it accounted for two-thirds of the market. This has a knock-on effect for first-time buyers as there will be fewer properties available for them also.”
Commenting on the figures, Richard Sexton, director of chartered surveyors e.surv, said: “The results highlight the ongoing struggles that many are facing when looking for adequate and affordable housing.
“With increasing house prices, living costs and inflation, many home owners, whether a young family looking for more space or older generations looking to downsize, are deciding to stay put.
“This starts a domino effect. If home buyers feel unable to move up the ladder, this reduces the amount of housing stock available for first-time buyers. Put simply, it prevents market growth. Although the market will not grind to a halt, as low interest rates and the willingness of banks to lend keep demand up, these figures should serve as a warning.
“The Government must address our country’s lack of housing supply sooner rather than later, to allow more first-time buyers to step on to the property ladder.
“This will give a much-needed confidence boost to the housing market, give current homeowners the assurance they need to move, and ultimately, will keep the housing market fluid.”