Stamp duty and mortgage issues scupper 10% of home moves

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More than one in 10 homeowners have tried and failed to move house due to stamp duty or mortgage issues, new Nottingham Building Society research shows.

The lender’s study found 11 per cent of mortgage customers – equivalent to around 1.2 million homeowners – gave up plans to move house in the past three years due to financial issues including mortgages.

The cost of stamp duty stopped around one in 12 homeowners (8 per cent) while 3 per cent of owners – around 327,000 people – were turned down for mortgages.

Younger home movers – those aged between 18 and 44 – were most likely to be put off by the cost of stamp duty. Around 14 per cent who had given up buying blamed stamp duty.

The Nottingham’s research shows the biggest block on home moving was a lack of suitable houses to move to.

Around 25 per cent of homeowners questioned said they had looked but could not find a suitable house.

However around 30 per cent of homeowners said they cannot currently afford to move home so are concentrating on improving their house.

Around one in five say they cannot find a better house to move to.

The research follows the announcement from the Council for Mortgage Lenders that the “lull in moving activity appears stubbornly persistent” across the UK market and that it plans to launch a study into “why the number of transactions seems in secular decline”.

Its most recent mortgage market data shows around £4.9bn was lent for home movers in January, 4 per cent lower than the previous year.

Nottingham Mortgage Services senior mortgage broking manager Ian Gibbons says: “There are a wide range of deals and advice available for all types of borrowers but the home moving market is still not expanding which points to wider issues than simply mortgages or stamp duty as the blocks in the market.

“Home movers clearly are also struggling to find suitable homes to move to which turns the spotlight on improving their existing homes rather than moving.

“The key to remortgaging successfully is to search the market for the most appropriate deal and to get advice on options particularly for older borrowers who may need to extend their loan into retirement.”