UK Home Move Numbers at 50 Year Low

Published / Last Updated on 04/03/2024

UK Finance, the collective lobbying group for the banking and finance industry has released figures in its UK Finance Household Review for 2023 showing that the number of home movers fell to their lowest since 1974.

In its report, UK Finance highlights for 2023 that:

  • 287,000 first time buyers, 23% down in a year and a 10 year low.
  • 251,000 loans were issued to existing homeowners, down 26% in a year.
  • That’s a total of 538,000 residential loans, down 24% in a year.
  • Total mortgage lending fell by nearly 30% to £223bn.  That is to be expected as more people try to reduce the amounts they borrow by paying off debt and funding bigger deposits given higher interest rates.

Only remortgage numbers were up as 1.5m homeowners came to the end of their fixed rate periods and have had to remortgage to higher rates.  2024 could be even worse with 1.6m fixed rate deals ending in 2024 meaning less people may consider moving.


Higher interest rates and a higher cost of living have squeezed all our pockets making property less affordable although we do expect this to tick up a little as wages inflation is now growing at a faster rate than prices inflation.

Gone are the days for mortgage rates of less than 1% and up to 2 or 3%.  We expect the mortgage market and interest rates to return their averages over the 70 or 80n years to Bank of England interest rates at 3-4% pa and mortgage rates therefore sitting in the 4% to 5% band, which for many who bought in the late 1980s when mortgage interest rates were over 15% pa, 4-5% pa will still appeal to many.

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