Lack of homes for sale preventing a fifth of owners in Scotland from moving
Some 20% of home owners in Scotland want to move in the next five years but a lack of suitable properties for sale is making it hard for them to do so, according to new research.
High stamp duty and the overall cost of moving are also factors that are causing the number of people thinking of moving house to fall, according to the research from the Bank of Scotland.
Some 19% said that rising prices is preventing them from moving and the same number said the cost of moving was a hindrance with 16% cited the cost of stamp duty. Broader financial pressures may also be constraining market activity, with 35% also stating that they would need a significant pay rise to move up the housing ladder.
Aside from financial factors, the whole house moving process is also causing more people to hang on to their properties instead of selling. Some 43% of owners across Scotland also said that the process of finding a suitable home discouraged them from looking to move.
Some 27% said that being uprooted from their local community puts them off moving while 18% are put off by dealing with estate agents and the uncertain economic outlook was cited by 15%.
The research also revealed that 63% feel that moving house has become more difficult over the past 10 years and 65% believe that people are now moving less frequently.
‘There are a number of factors that seem to be making Scottish home owners want to stay put, from the cost of moving, to a lack of the right type of homes coming onto the market and we have seen more owners putting off the move and looking to add value to their homes instead,’ said Graham Blair, mortgages director at the Bank of Scotland.
‘Whilst this isn’t great news for the housing market where sales have remained flat or fallen over the past few months, encouragingly some homeowners are still motivated and want to move and with little concern over recent base rate rises we may start to see more movement early next year,’ he added.
The research also found that the biggest reasons motivating Scottish home owners to move are to downsize to a smaller property with 33% saying so. However, many people are opting to stay put and renovate rather than move. Of the 46% of owners not looking to move, some 53% say that they’ll make improvements to their home instead.
Meanwhile, the majority of owners, some 75%, are not concerned by the Bank of England base rate increase announced in November and 85% say that the interest rate rise has had no effect on their desire to move home. In addition, 69% stated that they think a further interest rate rise is likely next year.