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Whether it was shifting to the countryside, out to the suburbs or back into the post-lockdown bustle of a city centre, removals vans have been criss-crossing the country to keep up with a boom in the number of homemovers.

Data out this morning from Halifax confirms the number of homemovers hit a record high in the first half of 2021, as a third lockdown forced Brits to reassess where and how they wanted to live.

London and the Southeast saw the most drastic “race for space” with homemover growth up more than 165 per cent each.

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The number of people moving more-than-doubled in the six months to 30 June to 265,070, despite the UK being locked down until Easter.

The total number of house movers in the last year is 100,000 more than at any other period in the last decade, as some city slickers opted for space and peace rather than shorter commuting times – a trend which has somewhat reversed and seen a steady stream of activity closer to city centres.

The buzz of activity, encouraged by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday, pushed up prices for those who signed on the dotted line.

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The average price paid jumped 11 per cent to £387,000.

London homemovers paid an average of £699,000 but this was the smallest price increase across the regions, up around five per cent.

Changing market dynamics also helped propel more first-home buyers onto the property ladder, with sales to this group up 75 per cent on the same period in 2020.

Separate data out today from Rightmove, shows the average sales price in London falling for the first time since January, down 0.4 per cent month-on-month in October to £647,800. Southwark, Hammersmith and Hackey saw the biggest dips.

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On average around England the price of property coming to market drops by an average of 0.6 per cent, or £2,044, compared to last month, the largest monthly fall since January.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data explained the price dip as potentially driven by seller who want to get a quick sale before Christmas: “Despite the soaring property market and consequent shortage of choice of homes for sale for prospective buyers, new sellers have given buyers an early Christmas present by dropping their average asking prices by 0.6 per cent.

” Sellers who come to market this close to the distractions of Christmas often have a pressing reason to sell, so naturally price more attractively to grab the attention of prospective buyers who may be otherwise occupied,” he said.

By JOSH MARTIN

Source: City AM

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