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Buying a bigger property is now the main motivation for moving in UK, research shows

The need for larger homes has returned, according to a survey by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), providing further evidence that the housing slump is easing.
The study, which looked at the issues that prompt homeowners to move, canvassed opinion from its members across the UK, asking them to identify the key reasons for a new house purchase in their branch. More than three quarters, 78%, said that ‘upscaling’ was a main reason.
The NAEA said that, while this is common within a healthy housing market, last year data from its February 2009 monthly marketing report pointed to an increase in ‘downsizing’ as a result of the recession.
In February 2009, four bedroom detached houses dropped from an average of £339,072 to £316,228 while two bedroom flats jumped in value by 1.6% to £124,727. This suggested at the time that sellers were no longer able to afford spacious properties and were forced into moving to a smaller place.
The new figures suggest that trend has now ended and ‘upscaling’ is once again the prime driving force of the housing market.
‘The fact that there has been an increase in the number of people moving to a larger property suggests the UK is slowly emerging from the economic downturn. This may also be attributed to increased mortgage availability which is encouraging news for the property industry,’ said Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA.
‘However, while the recent stamp duty pledge announced in the Budget is great for first time buyers, more needs to be done to assist those moving for the second or third time to ensure this upward trend continues,’ he added.
The survey also found that getting divorce was a factor for 58% of vendors, debt 41%, a death in the family 39% and a new job accounted for 27%.