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  • Lottery win or the wife - what's stopping people moving house - Money.co.uk Home Buyers Report August 2021

A Lottery win or the wife - what's currently stopping people moving house

The latest monthly homebuyers report, compiled by Money.co.uk examines the barriers that are preventing people from getting on – or moving up – the property ladder.
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House prices have risen £31,000 in the past 12 months according to the latest ONS report, more than double any possible saving from the Stamp Duty Holiday, and high prices are by far the biggest current barrier to moving home.

When Money.co.uk asked prospective homeowners what would make them consider moving earlier, the most common answers were house price falls or a pay rise. But for many of us, even a change in those circumstances wouldn’t necessarily be enough.

In fact, the most common answer for the people looking to move but held back by less traditional factors was a Lottery win, with the

Among the people who ticked ‘other’ on the list of factors that would enable them to move, 29% said it would take a lottery win or cash windfall to do the trick, with 7% more saying an inheritance could make all the difference.

But not all the responses were as prosaic. One person said their wife leaving would get them to move house sooner, while another said being reunited with a spouse after living apart due to Coronavirus would prompt a new buy. 

Suitability of properties was also something lots of people flagged up, with 20% saying that finding the perfect property, being able to downsize, or being able to relocate would be critical factors.

Having someone to buy with also featured, as did the end of Covid. One person even said that they would move earlier if they could tidy up their current home to get it on the market.

Whether you are looking to move up the property ladder, downsize or just relocate we can help you find the right mortgage when you move home.

Among the multiple-choice answers provided, the most popular thing that would make people move faster was a house price fall, which was chosen by 46% of respondents. In close second place was a pay rise, which was chosen by 40% of people.

There was a sharp drop into third place, with just 22% saying a new job would make them move more quickly.

More than one in 10 (12%) of people said that nothing at all would make them consider moving any earlier.

If you're not looking to buy a property in the next month, what, if anything, would make you consider moving sooner?

Updated 20 August 2021
House price falls46.13%
Pay rise40.05%
New job/retirement21.71%
Tax breaks (ie stamp duty)19.09%
Working from home18.72%
Having (more) children10.88%
N/A; nothing would make me consider moving sooner12.00%
Children leaving home8.37%
Other, please specify3.68%

Unsurprisingly, when asked about the biggest barriers to purchasing a property earnings (31%), deposits (28%) and mortgage availability (24%) were cited as the biggest barriers.

For the third month in a row, hassle has been a main contributing factor, with 21% of people saying that all the faff is a core barrier stopping people from buying or moving.

This suggests that estate agents that want to keep the markets moving need to make things as easy as possible for buyers and sellers alike. If processes are simplified and user-friendly – this would make homebuying more likely for one in five people.

What is the biggest barrier for you, if anything, with regards to purchasing a property?

Updated 20 August 2021
Earnings31.30%
Deposit27.60%
Mortgage availability24.25%
Faff / Hassle20.95%
Interest rates19.45%
Too many outgoings20.65%
N/A; there are no barriers for me purchasing a property14.80%
Other, please specify2.40%

The homes people are looking to buy

How much does it cost to buy a home?

The popularity of lottery wins as a solution suggests that affordability is a real problem for the UK’s home buyers. But when we looked at people’s purchasing power, on average they wanted to spend £297,447.87 for their next home.

Given the average house price in the UK stands at £268,000, that suggests that properties do exist at the price points people need. Our first-time buyers wanted to spend £254,205.57, while those moving up the ladder were prepared to spend £355,494.04 on average.

We also asked people how many homes were available within their budgets in their desired areas.

Most people said there was medium availability (48%), less than a third said there was low available and one in ten said there was high availability. So clearly, properties within the desired budget range exist.

The problem may stem from the type of properties available at these lower price points when compared with what people are actually looking for. 44% of people are determined to have an existing home, compared to just 28% who actively want a new build and 28% who have no preference either way. 

Which of the following features of a property, if any, do you look for the most in a potential purchase?

Updated 20 August 2021
No. of rooms45.75%
Garage43.25%
Security (ie lockable gates/concierge)28.30%
Wooden floors25.20%
Fire place18.15%
Balcony13.10%
Home office14.70%
Period features/details13.05%
Pool8.75%
Indoor gym6.95%
None of these5.60%

In terms of facilities, 44% of respondents wanted a garden or outside space, a feature which tends to push up prices significantly. As well as gardens, 33% of people wanted private parking and 43% wanted their own garage, both of which are rare and expensive commodities. 28% wanted security, such as a concierge or lockable gate and one in four wanted wooded floors.

Another factor that might be driving unaffordability is the local amenities people desire. Among our buyers, local shops were a core concern (34%) as were local parks (32%), good transport links (30%) and low crime (30%). All of these are fairly common requirements for a home, but it suggests that people aren’t able to find homes that tick all their boxes and are also within budget.

This was all backed up by the freeform answers where we asked people about the biggest barriers they face. Common responses included not being able to afford a property they actually liked or wanted, too much demand for properties they were interested in, and the added costs of conveyancers, solicitors and even stamp duty.

Help to buy ignored

House prices soar to record high of £254,606 in March, Halifax reports

The research also continues to show that people aren’t taking up the government help that’s available, which suggests measures are either not fit for purpose or not well known or understood.

When we asked which schemes, if any, people had used or were planning to use 41% said none at all, which was by far the most popular answer. Even amongst first-time buyers, almost one in ten said they wouldn’t use any of the options on offer.

Among those who did plan to take help, right to buy was the most popular scheme.

In second place for first-time buyers was a Help to buy Equity Loan, while existing homeowners were more likely to consider shared ownership.  The least popular schemes were right to acquire and the council discounted scheme.

Which of the following schemes, if any, have you used / considered using?

Updated 20 August 2021
None of these41.10%
Right to buy27.85%
Help to buy Equity Loan18.90%
Shared ownership16.90%
Council Discounted Sale14.05%
Right to acquire12.35%

If you're a first time buyer or looking to move house or remortgage, we can help you find the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.