Property Story Of 2019

First-time buyers (FTBs) made up the majority of the market, fewer EU nationals looked to purchase property in the UK and the majority of movers stayed within a five mile radius of their previous property according to Reallymoving’s story of UK property moves.

FTBs made up 55.7% of all home purchases in 2019 with a fifth dependent on a Government scheme to gain a foothold on the property ladder.

14.6% of FTBs needed to take advantage of shared ownership opportunities whilst 7.3% of all FTBs used Help to Buy to acquire their first property.

The average deposit made up 16.1% of the total purchase price with potential homeowners saving in excess of £28,800 on the average purchase price of £180,000.

Sellers typically paid their conveyancer £1,154 with FTBs spending an average of £677 for their legal fees, excluding disbursements and expenses.

The research found that the majority of FTBs avoided stamp duty land tax (SDLT) with the average mover contributing £4,635 into Government coffers.

With the threat of Brexit looming over both the EU and UK, changes to SDLT surcharges and other property law reforms failed to promote EU nationals purchasing UK property with sales falling sharply by 68% from 2016.

UK residents also avoided the EU, with a quarter (25.7%) of all international movers heading to the USA or Australia.

Rob Houghton, CEO of Reallymoving, said: 

“First time buyers were the driving force in the market during 2019, encouraged by cheap loans, soft house prices and plenty of Government support in the shape of Shared Ownership and Help to Buy which remain extremely popular.

“In terms of international moves, the UK fell sharply out of favour with people moving from the EU, as evidenced by a sharp decline in the proportion of EU residents making inward moves to the UK.

“Most home moves remained local with a remarkable 40% taking place within five miles of existing homes, suggesting that people were more motivated by extra space and more desirable properties than by major moves for new jobs or lifestyle changes.”

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