One of the biggest changes in the property market in recent years is a big reduction in the number of times people are actually moving. Before the credit crisis in 2008, the average person would move house around four times (3.6) after buying their first home. Generally this would see them move up and then back down the property ladder as their needs changed.
Since then this has dropped by around 50%. Now first time buyers are more likely to move less than two additional times (1.8). This is thought to be due to the slower pace of buying and selling in the market as whole.
Improving instead of moving
The biggest change is that more people are choosing to stay in their homes and redevelop them rather than moving. In many cases this is a better option, saving on moving costs and numerous fees. There has been a rise in the number of people getting extensions, loft conversions, and even basement developments.
Which areas move the slowest?
Across the UK there are some areas where people hold on to homes for very long periods. The London Borough of Harrow is one of the slowest moving. According to the figures, properties sell on average once every 19 years. Pembrokeshire was the only other area where people stay in their homes for this long.
What is the impact?
Areas where people hold on to houses for longer create supply issues, especially if new properties aren’t being built in sufficient numbers. This can result in higher demand for rental properties. It can also send people to neighbouring areas where availability is higher.
First time buyers holding on to their homes can cause issues at the top and bottom of the market. For example it means there are fewer properties for the next waves of buyers to purchase. It also means less small homes are available for downsizers.
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