BBC News

First fall in home-movers for five years, Lloyds says

By Brian Milligan
Personal Finance reporter

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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.

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