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Homeowners stay in property 20 years on average

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
Longer life expectancy has pushed up the average length of time we stay in one home
Homeowners stay in property 20 years on average

The number of years a homeowner stays in their property has lengthened to 20 years on average, down from a high of eight years in the late 1980s.

The trend has been influenced by factors including low inflation, longer mortgage terms and increased life expectancy, according to a new joint report from UK Finance and Hometrack, The Changing Shape of the UK Mortgage Market.

Part one of the report looks at how the housing market context for mortgage lending has changed in the decade since the financial crisis.

Homeowners accounted for their lowest share of housing moves at 35 per cent of the market in 2018, compared with 37 per cent in 2013, the analysis found.

Trading down has become less attractive given price compression between, and undersupply of, two- and three-bedroom homes. This has led to homeowners being unable to withdraw sufficient amounts of equity to justify a move.

In the future, homeowners would be likely to move for reasons such as employment or a change in circumstance rather than “taking on greater mortgage debt for purely aspirational motives,” the report said.

Housing market decline

House price rises outstripping income growth, as well as tax changes, had resulted in a four per cent decline in house sales between 2016 and 2018, the report said. High-value markets saw a sharper, double-digit drop.

In the coming years, volume sales were expected to remain at between 950,000 and 1.1 million, with volume and pricing continuing to adjust to affordability constraints and policy changes.

FTBs to remain largest group

First-time buyers (FTBs) took their highest share of housing sales since 2007, with for 36 per cent of sales and 50 per cent of mortgages for home purchase.

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