13% of people in the UK are looking to move house in the next 12 months – and those buying have an average budget of £322,000 to secure their next home, according to new research from AA Mortgages.
The South East is the region most people want to move to, the East Midlands is the region most people plan to leave – whilst people in Scotland and the North West are most likely to be planning a move within their region.
Domestic factors such as marriage, having children and changing job are the drivers behind people’s decisions to move house. 24% are planning to move house in the next two years. More people are planning to buy (46%) than to rent (42%) their next home – and 24% of those currently renting say their next move will involve them buying a home.
The AA research also explored the ‘moving heat map’ of the UK – the regions that people are leaving and moving to, giving an early indication on where there could be the greatest and least demand for housing in the year ahead.
The region people are most likely to be moving to is the South East (14%). Movers are most likely to be arriving into the South East from East Anglia and London. The South East was followed by South West (12%) and North West (12%) as other top locations to move to. The region that people are least likely to move to was the North East (2%).
People in North West (74%) and Scotland (71%) are most like to be moving house within the region, good news for these regions in terms of house prices and for employers in retaining a skilled workforce.
The region people that people planning a move are most likely to be leaving is the East Midlands (52%), which also was a region few people want to move to (6%).
For people imminently moving in the next three months, London (15%) and North West (14%) emerged the most popular destinations. London proved less popular for people at the early stages of thinking about a move (8% for those thinking of a moving in the next 12-24 months), and also has a outflow of people wanting to leave for a better quality of life in the country (9%).
House price data presents factual information on what houses have sold for in the past. The AA researchers asked people planning a house move what the budget was they were able or prepared to spend on their next home. Across the UK, the average budget for movers was £322,829 – which ranged from £410,840 for those from London to the lowest – £201,269 for people from Scotland. The budget for renters planning to buy was £286,000 compared to £367,000 for homeowners that were looking to move. People on lower incomes were more likely to be over-extending themselves for their next home purchase.
Relationship status also was a significant factor. The AA research exposed the relative difficultly experienced by single parent families in securing a sizeable budget for a next home (£287,939). In contrast, when people moved from being a co-habiting couple to getting married, they would spend an average of £60,000 more on their next home (from £291,247 to £351,653).
David Searle, director of AA Financial Services, said: “For many years, commentary on the property market has been dominated by supply dynamics, where and when houses are coming on the market and how much houses are selling for.
“Whilst perfectly valid, we have been keen to better understand the demand factors, to see things through the eyes of those planning to move house and to understand more fully their reasons for moving, the extent to which they are fulfilling new ambitions with a move and their own sense of financial mastery over the decisions they are making.
“It is the people – not the bricks – that make a house a home, and the first findings from our new tracking study suggest as long as people are getting married, changing jobs, having babies – and wanting more for their family – then people will always be moving house.”