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The number of home movers fell in 2016 for the first time in five years, Lloyds Bank has claimed.
Using its own housing data, the lender estimates 354,000 owner-occupiers used a mortgage to move house last year, down 4% from the 367,300 recorded by the Council of Mortgage Lenders in 2016.
However, those who are moving are paying more, with the average house price paid by home movers increasing 7% from £273,510 in 2015 to a record high of £291,777, based on the bank’s own figures.
Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, suggested the drop in movers was due to a lack of suitable homes.
He said: “Despite favourable economic conditions including record low mortgage rates, high employment levels and rising real pay growth, the number of home movers fell in 2016 for the first time in five years.
“Whilst higher prices will have lifted equity levels for many current owners, the low availability of the ‘right type’ of homes for those looking to move up the housing ladder may have constrained market activity.
“Of course, higher prices may explain why more home movers are opting for longer mortgage terms.
“The ability of home movers, particularly those in their first homes, to move on is an important component in the housing market as it increases the supply of properties, providing homes for new first-time buyers.”