Around 42% of mortgage lending was advanced to home movers, the FCA said, up 15% from the same period last year, and almost double the share advanced to first time buyers. Just under 22% of mortgage advances were made to first time buyers between January and March this year, up just 2 percentage points compared to the first three months of last year.
The share of mortgage advances made to Buy to Let investors fell to 11.7% in the first quarter of 2021, down 2.3 percentage points compared to the same period last year, whilst the share for remortgages stood at 18%, down 14.2 percentage points from the first quarter of 2020.
Race for space drives home moversHome mover demand is thought to be driven by changing priorities as a result of the pandemic, with many people looking for bigger homes and more outside space.
According to research by insurer Royal London, one in six (17%) people actively moving, or looking to move, to a new house in the UK said that Covid-19 has changed where they want to live. More than half of these (51%) said they were moving because they wanted more indoor space, whilst 46% said they wanted more outdoor space.
The research also showed that house movers are increasingly searching for properties with home offices, and high-speed internet, as well as those with more open floor plans and more parking.
Although many home movers are heading for the country and more rural areas, some people, particularly those living in the London area are looking to move closer to a city. Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London said: “The restrictions and lockdown measures have seen millions of households in the UK set up remote offices from their kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. With so much time being spent indoors, it was inevitable that people would start thinking about their home environment.”