Figures released by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customers (HMRC) show the number of transactions has fallen by 80,000, from a high of 150,000 in December 2006, to its current level.
A report by Nationwide suggests that the costs associated with moving home are the main reason discouraging people to move. General economic instability and fluctuating property prices were also blamed.
The study found that most people estimated that fees associated with moving house would cost them between £5,000 and £10,000. Those surveyed typically thought solicitors fees would be the biggest cost, rather than stamp duty or estate agency fees.
The lender also found three-quarters of home owners have been in their current house for over five years with 38% having no intention to ever move again.
Tracie Pearce, head of mortgages at Nationwide, commented: “A healthy housing market is key to a healthy economy which is why we are focussing our efforts on getting the nation moving again.
“It’s no surprise that the economy and costs are the main barriers to people moving. However, if people want to move we’d urge them to look at the options; many fixed rate mortgages are at an all-time low and upfront fees need not be a significant barrier.”