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Homebuyer Levels Reach 10-Yr Peak

Hardware stores, bathroom tile shops in London, garden centres and furniture outlets are set to be booming in business over the next few months, after a huge number of homeowners have entered the property market.

Indeed, there were more homeowner purchases in February for a decade, according to the latest figures from UK Finance. It reported that homebuyer numbers reached 50,000 in February 2018, which is the highest level for the month in 11 years.

More than half of these were first-time buyers (FTBs) who took the plunge to get on the property ladder. This is a 2.4 per cent growth from February 2017, showing increased confidence in the market from this group of buyers.

Meanwhile, 24,800 were home movers, who were typically 39 years old and had an average household income of £55,000.

Speaking about the interesting findings, Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Homebuyers have shaken off the winter blues, with purchases by first-time buyers and home movers reaching their highest levels for February in over a decade.”

The sharp rise in homebuyers means more people will be considering home renovation plans over the coming months. While many will have bought properties designed to their taste, there will be a considerable number who will be eager to get the keys to their new homes so they can make changes as soon as possible.

One of the most popular rooms to redecorate first is the kitchen, as this is where the heart of the home is. As well as choosing kitchen cupboards and accessories that you love, it is important to pay particular attention to the fixtures and fittings as well. Features such as tiles and splashbacks can really add character and style to the kitchen, so do not rush these decisions even if you want the house to be ready as soon as possible.

Ms Bennett also noted that many people are re-mortgaging their properties these days, and levels reached 35,400 in February. This is 11.3 per cent more than the same month in 2017, while the amount lent was also 11.1 per cent higher year-on-year.

The property expert noted: “Homeowners look to fix costs in anticipation of further interest rate rises.”

Therefore, many homeowners who are re-mortgaging are planning to stay put in their properties for a while – at least for the term of their new mortgage. Therefore, they are likely to be interested in redecorating their home as well.

Lots of homeowners are staying put these days instead of buying their next house in a bid to save on expensive moving costs.

In fact, Lloyds Bank revealed last year that 59 per cent of homeowners who are not looking to move plan to make improvements to their property instead.

As a result of this, extensions, loft conversions and new bathrooms and kitchens are very popular, with many people improving their properties rather than moving.

By being able to add space to their abode, they make it future-proof and allow themselves to grow into the home for years to come.