The UK has become a relocation nation since the pandemic began, with more than a third of adults (36%) having upped sticks in the past two years.
According to new research from information and insights company TransUnion, a fifth of those moves (19%) were to get onto the property ladder and over a quarter (26%) were to climb it further. This was fuelled, in part, by the stamp duty holiday, which made buyers exempt from the tax from July 2020 to September 2021i. In fact, over a quarter of buyers made the decision to move in order to benefit from the exemption.
The top motivations for moving were better location (34%), upsizing (28%), outside space after having spent lockdowns indoors (27%) and stamp duty savings (27%).
Kelli Fielding, TransUnion’s managing director of consumer interactive in the UK comments: “After nearly two years of the pandemic and reductions in stamp duty, which can often cost as much as a house deposit, it’s no wonder we have seen such an appetite to get onto the property ladder or make a move over the past 18 months. And it seems this buoyant market is set to continue, with almost a quarter (22%) of adults aiming to apply for a mortgage in the first half of 2022 and over a third (35%) planning a move within the next two years.
“For those thinking about moving, it’s absolutely critical that they’re familiar with their credit report and score, so they know what mortgage deals they are likely to be eligible for. It’s also a good opportunity to check all the information held on your credit report is accurate, which is something that people should be doing well in advance of any mortgage application. There are simple steps you can take to help improve your credit score over time, if needs be, so you should be thinking about this at least six months ahead of applying for a mortgage to ensure you’re in the best financial position when the time comes.”
TransUnion’s research confirmed nearly a third (30%) of consumers planning a move have familiarised themselves with their credit report and score to help them get their mortgage, and over a quarter (27%) want to try and improve their credit score before applying for their mortgage to get the best rates.
A quarter (25%) of those moving within the next two years were able to save enough money during lockdown to afford a deposit for a property. That’s no mean feat given buyers typically need a minimum of 5% saved, and with average house prices in England reaching £271,000ii, prospective buyers need at least £13,550 in their piggy bank.
To check your TransUnion credit score and report for free visit Credit Karma, MoneySuperMarket or TotallyMoney. For tips on building a stronger credit score download TransUnion’s free ebook ‘Getting to Grips with your Credit Report and Score’ here.
Notes: Unless otherwise stated, figures relate to survey of 2,000 nationally representative adults (18+) carried out by OnePoll on behalf of TransUnion in November 2021.
i Stamp Duty rates reduced from July 2020 to September 2021: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates
Source: TransUnion UK Press Release