Category Archives: Property News

More Homeowners Moved House in 2014 than have since 2007

More people moved house last year than have in the last seven years, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Homeowners Review. In total an estimated 365,400 people moved house in 2014, up 8% on 2013. This is good news for the housing market and demonstrates the growing levels of confidence.

Moved HouseMoved House Prices Up

Lloyds report that house prices also rose 8% in 2014. This is good news for people previously in negative equity and it also makes it easier for people to make their next move up the property ladder. As Andy Hulme, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, said:

The resulting higher levels of equity in their property are providing homeowners with more funds to finance the purchase of their next home.

The number of people who moved house has grown by 16% since the bottom of the housing depression in 2009. Even though the number who  moved house has increased over the last few years, it is still  way below the record set in 2004 (886,700) and just above the average between 2004 and 2007 (717,025).

Lloyds predict that house prices will continue to rise in 2015 allowing those people who bought properties at the peak of the housing boom to move back into positive equity. This should all help to keep the housing market moving and allow people to continue to climb the property ladder. The expectation is the 2015 results will show more people moved house yet again.

Whilst that is all positive, there remains a regional pricing divide for those trying to get on the second rung of the housing ladder. In the South East house house prices have risen by 33% in the last 5 years and London has seen 50%  growth, vice price changes of 16% and 14% in the North and in Wales respectively.

The report provides an indication of how busy the housing market is again becoming, as well as all the associated businesses, such as estate agents, solicitors and, of course, removal companies. Therefore anyone looking to move home should plan well ahead and book the services of their preferred agents and house removals firms as early as possible. The earlier you contact your removal company the sooner they can begin to help you manage your move, even if you haven’t got a moving date.

Were you one of the lucky ones that moved house in 2014? If so we’d love to know what your 3 top tips are for moving house. We’ll collate the results and pass them on to future house movers.

Five Kent Towns in Top 50 Best Places to Live in UK: Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Maidstone and Tonbridge

Five of Kent’s towns have been ranked in the top 50 best places to live in Britain according to the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2014, great news if you are moving to Kent or the South-East. We all know that Kent has some of the best places to live and it is nice that this is recognised.

The highest placed Kent town was Sevenoaks, which ranked 14th, followed by Tunbridge Wells which achieved 31st place. Ashford ranked in 38th, Tonbridge and Maidstone were 42nd and 44th respectively. If you are thinking of buying a house and moving to Kent you can’t go far wrong with these towns, they offer something for everyone.

Local Councillors of the top towns were very pleased. Leader of Ashford Borough Council, Gerry Clarkson, said:

Being named as the 38th best place in which to live in the UK is pleasing. It echoes everything residents have told us about the borough as a desirable place to live.

Nicolas Heslop, leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, said good schools, transport links to London and leisure facilities played a part in the borough’s placing.

As a region the South East dominates the survey, with over half of the towns found in this area. Hart in Hampshire was crowned the winner, as it has been for 4-straight years. Though, interestingly, only two London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea and Bromley, made the top 50.

This is the ninth year that Halifax has completed the survey, which takes into account a variety of factors such as the labour market, housing, physical environment, health, education and personal well-being. Data is compiled from public agencies such as the Office for National Statistics, the Met Office and the British Crime Survey to produce the report.

What do you think – do you agree with the survey? We would love to hear your views on the best places to live in Kent and the South East. Where would you move to if you had the choice and why would you move house? Leave your comments and views below.

Kent Towns in Best Places to Live in UK

Top 50 Best Places to Live in the UK 2014


To find out more about the Quality of Life Survey check out the following link:


House Prices Continue to Rise in Kent and the South-East

Property prices are predicted to continue to grow as demand for homes outstrips the current housing supply. The Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS) forecasts house prices will continue to rise at 6% per year until more homes are put up for sale. The housing market has been flat since the banking crisis but it is now showing signs of life and even vigour, with the highest number of homes being sold in the first 3 months of this year since February 2008.

In the South-East, in places like Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury, the number of new builds is not keeping pace with the number of new buyers entering the market.  In London and Kent house prices are now above their 2008 peak and the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts house price inflation will reach 9% this year. One bit of good news for buyers, all of this upward pressure on house prices doesn’t seem to be deterring first time buyers. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders first time buyers accounted for 44% of house purchases last year.

Recently the Bank of England tweaked its forward guidance, hinting that it may raise the interest rate to 0.75% in late 2015, and the Chancellor extended the “Help to Buy” Scheme until 2020. This all means that it could be the ideal time to get on the property ladder or upgrade your current house. Waiting another year may find your dream home more expensive, as well as the cost of your mortgage or a requirement for larger personal deposits.

According to RICS, estate agents have sold on average 22.7 houses each in the three months to March, the highest number since February 2008. Houses are selling fast and with this upturn in the housing market a lot of the associated industries, such as solicitors and removal companies, are also seeing fuller order books. This means that not only do you need to move quickly to secure your house but you need to book your mover early to avoid disappointment. Whilst you may not know your exact move date start talking to your removal firm early as they can help. For instance, use of short-term storage may unlock that complicated “chain” and actually save you money in the long run.

All the indicators are that the housing market is growing and growing fast, making it a sellers’ market. Get in quick to secure the best deals and don’t forget to talk to your friendly removal company sooner rather than later.

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