11% of mortgage customers – equivalent to around 1.2 million homeowners – have given up plans to move house in the past three years due to financial issues including mortgages and stamp duty, according to new research for the Nottingham Building Society.
The cost of stamp duty stopped 8% of homeowners, while 3% of owners – around 327,000 people – were turned down for mortgages.
Younger home movers – those aged between 18 and 44 – were most likely to be put off by the cost of stamp duty – around 14% who had given up buying blamed stamp duty.
The research follows the announcement from the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) that the “lull in moving activity appears stubbornly persistent” across the UK market and that it plans to launch a study into “why the number of transactions seems in secular decline”.
Its most recent mortgage market data shows around £4.9 billion was lent for home movers in January which was 4% lower than the previous year with just 23,000 deals completed.
The Nottingham’s research shows mortgage and stamp duty issues are a major factor – but the biggest block on home moving was a lack of suitable houses to move to. Around 25% of homeowners questioned said they had looked but could not find a suitable house.
However around 30% of homeowners said they cannot currently afford to move home so are concentrating on improving their house and around one in five say they cannot find a better house to move to.
Ian Gibbons, senior mortgage broking manager at Nottingham Mortgage Services, part of the Nottingham, said: “The mortgage market is generally performing well with growth in remortgaging and for loans to first-time buyers with strong competition from lenders.
“There are a wide range of deals and advice available for all types of borrowers but the home moving market is still not expanding which points to wider issues than simply mortgages or stamp duty as the blocks in the market.
“Home movers clearly are also struggling to find suitable homes to move to which turns the spotlight on improving their existing homes rather than moving. The key to remortgaging successfully is to search the market for the most appropriate deal and to get advice on options particularly for older borrowers who may need to extend their loan into retirement.”