By Michael Millar
Date: Monday 21 May 2012
Moving to a smaller home is the main motivation for selling up in nine of the ten regions of the UK, according to new research.
A survey by website Rightmove found that two in five of those who intend to sell over the next 12 months are motivated by a desire to ‘trade down’.
This compares to only one in four who are looking to buy a bigger property, with growing family, space and school requirements.
London was the only region in the UK where trading up come top of sellers’ requirements, which Rightmove said provided further evidence of the two-speed housing market in the UK.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said the trend for downsizing was a reflection of the current mortgage squeeze as well as a change in age demographics.
“We have an ageing population, with more old people at the top of the chain trying to downsize and fewer at the bottom trying or able to trade up," he said.
"Some people may be facing redundancy and looking to reduce their outgoings, and others may be looking to supplement their underperforming pension pots."
The survey found that asking prices stalled in May, rising just £22 to £243,759, compared with April.
It is the first time in the 10-year history of the research that asking prices haven't risen in May, compared to April.
The current figures puts asking prices two per cent higher than in May last year.
The number of properties coming to market was down 10% on April, with Rightmove questioning whether "summer sporting and Jubilee distractions would continue to dampen activity like rainy May".
As an aside, economists at Barclays have today commented on the housing market, saying that, "We expect the market to remain weak in the near term, but to improve subsequently. We expect prices to decline by 0.3% y/y in 2012 but to grow by an average 4.1% during 2012-16. However, the recovery is likely to exhibit a marked regional pattern, with growth strongest in the South East of England. In this respect the picture is likely to be broadly similar to that seen in the mid-1990s."
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