Some 30% of people are planning to move home in the UK this year, more than three times the level at the height of the economic downturn and despite austerity measures, new research suggests.
While there is normally a gap between those planning a move and those who actually make the leap, the research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks reveals the biggest single increase since October 2008 when just 9% of people planned to move home.
‘It is greatly encouraging for the property market that more people are clearly keen to move but, of course, there is still natural caution in the market,’ said Steve Reid, retail director for Clydesdale Bank.
‘It’s understandable that many people will have put off moving in the last couple of years so the potential demand is there. But the conditions will have to be right for the individual house buyer to see that demand translate into a move,’ he added.
The research suggests that potential house buyers are most optimistic in the South East where 40% say they are planning to move. In contrast only 22% of those surveyed in Scotland said they plan to move over the next 12 months.
Some 34% in the East of England plan to move, 33% in the East Midlands and 30% in both the West Midlands and Greater London. In the South West 28% said they are planning to move, 27% in Yorkshire and Humberside, 25% in the North West and 24% in the North East and in Wales.
The research also revealed that people’s plans to move have led to a decline in home improvements. Only 17% of those surveyed plan to improve or extend their home compared to 54% in October 2008.
Many of those planning to move home are doing so out of necessity with more than a third citing a change in circumstances. More than a quarter, 27%, said that the allure of a dream home bargain would make them move in 2011. A further 14% are relocating and 10% are expanding their family.
‘Changing circumstance and the chance to land a dream house are clearly in the sights of a growing number of potential house buyers but the price of a new property will have to be right,’ said Reid.
‘While this research must be balanced with the prevailing caution in the market, the findings are encouraging, particularly as we head towards Easter which traditionally sees an increase in house buying activity,’ he added.