Home movers hit highest total since 2007 – Halifax

The number of people moving home in the first half of 2021 has more than doubled compared to the same period last year, new figures from Halifax have revealed.

According to the latest Halifax Homemover Review, the first six months of this year saw 265,070 people move home, a 132% increase on the first half of 2020.

Figures showed there were an additional 151,040 transactions in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2020, when 114,030 home moves took place.

Halifax’s data also revealed that 461,010 home moves took place over the 12 months to June 2021, which is a figure up by more than 50% on the previous 12 months. The total number of moves in the last year is almost 100,000 more than at any point in the last 10 years.

This leap in property transactions comes after several years of flat or falling numbers and brought the annual total to the highest it’s been since 2007 – when it hit 716,6502.

Halifax mortgages director, Andrew Asaam, commented: “The rate and scale of the growth of the home mover market is quite remarkable. After several years of flat transaction numbers then a marked fall at the start of the pandemic, we’re now at a level not seen since 2007.

“There are many factors that have driven this activity, perhaps the biggest of which is the ‘race for space’ amongst those planning to work from home in the long term. The timing of some these moves will also have been influenced by people wanting to benefit from the stamp duty holiday.”

Halifax’s figures also suggested that first-time buyers also returned to the market in force during the first half of this year, with 210,900 transactions, an increase of 74% on the same six months last year. Those getting their first foot on the housing ladder accounted for almost half (44%) of all sales in the period.

“It is important to recognise the boom in sales was not limited to movers,” Asaam continued. “There were more first-time buyers in the first six months of this this year, than in the first half of any of the last 10 years. Those getting on to the housing ladder accounted for almost half of all mortgage-backed purchases, which is in line with the long-term average.”

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