Equity rich homeowners in the UK have been actively pursuing home moves after a record-breaking year of value growth in 2020. Given greater job flexibility, including the increasing opportunities to work remotely, as well as the majority of home buyers being unconcerned about the end of the stamp duty holiday, a number of homeowners are cashing in on their properties to facilitate house moves.

With moving costs as low as they are, opportunists are capitalising on emergent developments in safer, greener, neighbourhoods that offer an abundance of local amenities whilst remaining connected through quality infrastructure.

Data from reallymoving, the UK provider of home moving services, revealed that the cost of moving home (buying and selling at the same time) plummeted by 39 per cent in 2020, making it the cheapest time to move in decades. Further, a report from Moving Home Advice has found that the majority of UK homebuyers in 2021 are not being motivated by the stamp duty holiday. Of 1,071 homebuyers surveyed in December 2020 to determine their motivation, just 29 per cent cited the stamp duty holiday. Meanwhile, nearly 40 per cent had always planned to buy regardless of the current market scenario. The report goes on to suggest that market commentators tend to overemphasise financial and economic motivations for home buying and underemphasize the emotional factors.

For upsizers, who outnumbered first-time buyers for the first time in 2020, according to the Telegraph, emotional factors are significant. New builds in particular offer assurance of high-quality specifications, 24-hour concierge services, and ongoing management of communal amenities and gardens, which differentiate them favourably relative to existing homes.

Downsizing too has moved beyond the realm of empty nesters; be it couples moving into energy-efficient homes together to save on the cost of heating and cooling, or millennials downsizing on the basis of sustainability. With the stamp duty holiday ending ostensibly not a huge concern, moving costs as low as ever, work flexibility expanding, and home equity reaching new highs, the conditions are ripe for 2021 home moves to accelerate.