Movers drive up sales to highest level since 2007

The housing market has had its busiest start to the year for 14 years as changing preferences due to the pandemic, forced saving, low mortgage rates, and the stamp duty holiday have led swathes of existing homeowners to enter the market. We estimate that around 160,000 existing homeowners moved in Q1, almost double what has been the norm over the past decade.  But looking ahead sales instructions dropped in May, suggesting that the end of the stamp duty holiday will reduce home mover demand. That said, with high LTV mortgage availability improving at the same time first-time buyer demand could strengthen, intensifying the mismatch between strong demand and limited supply. As a result, house price inflation is set to rise further in the near term.
Andrew Wishart Property Economist
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