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Huge rise in home-movers this year despite referendum jitters

No fewer than 174,000 people moved home in the first six months of 2016 - a rise of nine per cent on the same period last year and almost 50 per cent more than the post-2007 low. 

This is despite Brexit uncertainty which, according to some, crippled parts of the market in the second quarter of the year.

The figure, which comes from the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review, suggests that ahead of the referendum more buyers than expected took advantage of lower stamp duty across most price sectors of the housing market, and a series of optimistic reports on the economy prior to the June 23 EU referendum.

Lloyds also says the average deposit put down by a homemover in H1 2016 was almost £100,000; buyers in Londoners put down more than £190,000.

Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by 38 per cent from £206,997 in 2011 to £261,5504 in June 2016 - equivalent to a monthly increase of £1,310. 

"The homemover market is at a nine-year high after growing by nine per cent in the past year. A favourable economic backdrop, record low mortgage rates and the stamp duty changes announced in December 2014 have supported the market. Higher house prices have also boosted homemover equity levels which in turn have helped towards the purchase of the next home” explains Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage product director.

Even so, the number of owners moving home is still far below the pre-downturn level of 327,600 in the first half of 2007. However, the latest figures represent an increase of 48 per cent on the market low of 117,900, from the first half of 2009. 

There has also been an increase in the number of people taking out longer mortages, Lloyds revealed. In 2011, the proportion of people taking up a 25 to 35 year mortgage was nine per cent. This has now doubled to 18 per cent.

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