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Restricted mortgage borrower budgets hit the urge to move home – Savills

  • 14/09/2022
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Restricted mortgage borrower budgets hit the urge to move home – Savills
Rising interest rates and the cost of living are forcing prospective home movers to cut their budgets and dampening down the urgency to move, according to estate agents.

A survey of over 1,000 prospective buyers from Savills at the end of August 2022 showed the net balance of people who are more committed to move in the next three months has fallen to -1.7 per cent, while a net balance of +7.1 per cent feel more committed to move in the next year, in contrast to +22 per cent in 2021.

However, respondees were more positive about prospects over the next two years. Those looking to enter the market or borrow more were the most cautious within the next six months, particularly among upsizers, second home buyers and investors.

Meanwhile, those looking to downsize, relocate or living in regional parts of the UK remain as positive as ever about their homebuying prospects.

Lack of stock remains the biggest obstacle for many, particularly in the £1m+ bracket, with more than four out of five hindered by a dearth of suitable properties.

For the majority of buyers, the amount they plan to spend on their new home hasn’t changed, however, a third of prospective buyers reliant on mortgage borrowing said their buying budget had reduced as a result of the spiralling cost of living, with first-time buyers and up-sizers hardest hit.

Downsizer sentiment is the least impacted, according to the report, with two-thirds keeping both their budgets and funding the same, alongside those moving outside of London.

“Despite transactions remaining robust over the summer months, there’s now certainly less urgency in the market, with rising costs of debt impinging on the budgets of those most reliant on a mortgage. Increased costs of living are also making buyers much more conscious when it comes to how much they are willing to spend,” said Frances McDonald, research analyst at Savills.

“Ultimately, in the short term, the market will be predominately driven by homeowner need, rather than lifestyle influences which drove the market during the pandemic. As a result, after more than two years of runaway house price growth, sellers will need to become much more realistic when it comes to pricing their home, especially as more stock comes onto the market.”


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