Scottish house moves are the lowest in five years
The number of people moving house in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in five years.
The Bank of Scotland’s Homemover Review has discovered that only 14,682 homeowners moved house in the first half of 2019, a 2% decrease from the previous 12 months. This is a low which has not been experienced since the first half of 2014. The review suggested that a shortage of available properties and falling deposit costs are at the essence of the problem.
The average deposit provided by homeowners moving to another property in Scotland has increased by 21% over the same period from £58,285 to £70,332. This means the deposit now accounts for nearly a third (32%) of the average property’s purchase.
Bank of Scotland has said that the prospect of rises to interest rates and levies such as the land and buildings transactions tax have not helped the problem. Despite the decrease in the rate of homeowners moving house, the average purchase price has grown by 17% from £188,852 in 2014 to £221,515 in 2019. Within 10 years, it is up 24% from £179,348 in 2009.
However, the current average price is still well below the British equivalent, which has jumped by 32% in five years and stands at £329,648. On the other hand, the Scottish price increase, within the last five and ten years, is also the lowest in Britain.
Mortgages director at Bank of Scotland, Graham Blair, said: “The slow rate of home movers is a reflection of increased deposits, higher stamp duty charges, as well as potential interest rate rises. There is also low availability of the perfect next home, such as an extra bedroom and outdoor space for those looking to move up the housing ladder, which altogether are having an impact on the overall number of people moving house. Despite a dip in the number of people moving in 2019, house prices have still increased and may also be contributing to the slowdown.”
The review has also revealed the average age of a homeowner moving property in Scotland is 41, which is two years younger than the equivalent figure in 2009. This is still a year older than the existing UK average.
It also revealed that nearly three out of ten (29%) home movers opt for a detached property, with 21% moving to a semidetached house. It further indicated that flats (19%), terraced houses (18%) and bungalows (13%) accounted for the rest of the sales.
London is still the most expensive region, with an average price nearly twice the UK average at £650,510. Those looking to move house in the expensive property market in London have to pay the largest average deposit of £213,907 towards the purchase of their next home.
Northern Ireland is the least expensive area, with an average house price of £189,905. The lowest deposits for buying property are also found in Northern Ireland at £56,763.