First-time buyers accounting for over half of purchasers wanting to move home

First-time buyers last year accounted for over half of purchasers wanting to move home, a website has claimed.

Comparison website also says that the average distance moved by all movers was just nine miles, and that the number of buyers from the European Union plummeted.

Analysis of conveyancing and removals quotes on the site found that the number of buyers from the EU has now dropped by 68% since the 2016 referendum.

First-time buyers accounted for 55% of all home purchases throughout the year, according to the research.

Over a fifth used a Government scheme to help them buy their first home, such as Shared Ownership (14.6%) and Help to Buy (7.3%).

The average deposit paid by first-time buyers was £28,800 – 16% of their average purchase price of £180,000.

In contrast, home movers, those buying and selling at the same time, sold their homes for an average price of £237,000 and bought for an average price of £292,500.

The median distance moved by UK movers in 2019 was nine miles, while 40% moved within a five-mile radius of their previous home.

Those buying and selling a home typically paid £420 for removals and £1,154 for conveyancing, excluding disbursements and expenses such as Land Registry fees.

London received the highest volume of home movers in 2019, accounting for 12.1%. The second most popular destination was Birmingham (3.2%), followed by Manchester (2.2%) and Reading, Berkshire (2%), the analysis claims.

The most popular destination for international movers from the UK was the United States (19.4%), followed by Spain (9.9%), France (7%), Australia (6.3%) and Germany (5.4%).

Rob Houghton, chief executive of, said: “First-time buyers were the driving force in the market during 2019, encouraged by cheap loans, soft house prices and plenty of Government support in the shape of Shared Ownership and Help to Buy which remain extremely popular.

“In terms of international moves, the UK fell sharply out of favour with people moving from the EU, as evidenced by a sharp decline in the proportion of EU residents making inward moves to the UK.

“Most home moves remained local with a remarkable 40% taking place within five miles of existing homes, suggesting that people were more motivated by extra space and more desirable properties than by major moves for new jobs or lifestyle changes.”



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