Scots home mover market stagnates

The number of people moving home in Scotland has returned to levels last seen in 2016 following a brief growth spell last year, with only 15,300 current homeowners moving house in the first half of 2018, according to Bank of Scotland’s Homemover Review.

During 2017, homemover activity across Scotland increased as homeowners seemed to take advantage of low mortgage rates and high demand for homes.

However, this rise in homemovers has now fallen to 2016 levels with 3,100 less people moving home compared to the second half of 2017 (18,400) and 900 less compared to this time last year.

The average price paid by homemovers has grown by 21% over the past five years, from £172,881 in 2013 to £209,496 in 2018.

However, this is still below the UK average.

East Anglia recorded the biggest increase of 46% over the same time period with the South East of England and Greater London also recording significant increases of 45% each.

The average deposit put down by a Scottish homemover has also increased by 23% in the past five years, from £53,205 in 2013 to £65,353 in 2018.

This is also one of the lowest increases across the UK over the same time period.

Unsurprisingly, Londoners pay the largest average deposit of £189,167 towards the purchase of their next home.

Graham Blair, Bank of Scotland mortgage director, said: “Despite an uplift in the number of people moving in 2017, the homemover market has stagnated in the first half of this year.

“The low availability of the ‘right type’ of homes for those looking to move up the housing ladder may have constrained market activity.

“And whilst Scottish homemovers haven’t seen price increases quite on par with the rest of the UK, the change in house prices and deposits required have still increased by a significant amount and may also be contributing to the recent slowdown of people moving home.”