Home mover activity tops first-time buyers in Q1

04 Jun 2021

Home mover activity exceeded that of first-time buyers in Q1. Mortgage completions for home movers rose 82% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same three months in 2020.

This is according to a report out on Friday by banking industry group, UK Finance.

Whereas, completions for first-time buyers rose 31% over last year, reports the FT.

The rise in home purchases by home movers sped up over the quarter, with a 142% rise in mortgages completed in March this year over 2020.

These latest figures indicate a turnaround in activity between first-time buyers and home movers, bucking a trend dating back more than 10 years.

Following the financial crisis, first-time buyers fuelled demand, bolstered by government initiatives.

However, home movers’ activity was more muted at the time, at around 50% of the 2007 level in the following decade.

That said, since the pandemic “there looks to be a more fundamental shift in behaviour linked to the pandemic”, according to UK Finance.

“The ongoing health crisis has brought with it a need for space during lockdowns which existing homeowners, supported by over a decade now of uninterrupted price growth increasing their housing equity stakes, have been well placed to respond to,” the group added.

The report added that home mover growth surpassed first-time buyer growth in every region of the UK, with the strongest rates seen in the South East, says a Mortgage Solutions report.

The rise in working from home and strong equity positions of homeowners resulted in a “mini exodus”, according to the report.

Managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, Eric Leenders stated: “Since the housing market emerged from its shutdown last spring, we have seen a remarkable recovery in demand, which continued through Q1 2021.

“Existing homeowners have taken advantage of the stamp duty concessions, with changing working and living patterns encouraging more to use their existing equity, either to move further afield or to fund further housing purchases for themselves or family.”