First fall in home-movers for five years, Lloyds says
The number of Britons moving home last year fell for the first time in five years, according to Lloyds Bank.
In total, 354,000 UK households sold up and bought elsewhere, 4% fewer than in 2015.
The bank said that was the first annual decline since 2011, after four successive years of growth.
One reason was the rise in prices. Home-movers had to pay an average of £291,777 for their new property, 7% more than in 2015.
In parts of southern England anyone moving house had to put down an average deposit of more than £100,000.
During 2016 two estate agents issued profit warnings as a result of falling sales.
Foxtons reported a 42% fall in profits in July, blaming uncertainty following the EU referendum and a slowing of the market in central London.
And Countrywide, which owns 55 High Street estate agents, said in November that it expected transactions to fall by 6% over the year.
Lloyds Bank mortgages director Andrew Mason said the number of people moving home was important, as it increases the supply of properties in the market - particularly for first-time buyers.
Lloyds calculated its own estimates for 2016, and compared them with historic data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.