Why British Homeowners Want to Move

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Moving homeNew research published this week revealed some interesting statistics that shine a light on the psychology of home ownership in the UK and our desire to move.

Figures published by home property website Zoopla show that the majority of homeowners suffer from the ‘seven year itch’ when it comes to property ownership.

According to the survey of 3,080 people, British homeowners get bored of where they live after seven years and four months.

The figures show that it is women, dissatisfied by the little things that go wrong with a property, as well as growing envious of the homes of friends and family, who typically look to instigate a move. In total 60 per cent of home moves are instigated by women.

The results of the survey are certainly interesting and lead us to ask the question: ‘what makes us want to move?’

No one enjoys moving house – it is stressful, perhaps the most stressful experience many of us will go through in our lives. So why does it appear that the majority of us love to uproot our lives every seven years or so?

There are many reasons why people like to move house. Below we take a look at some of them:

Boredom and Irritation

Boredom and irritation should be noted as a big reason for wanting to move. No matter how ideal the home, eventually you will probably get annoyed by it: poor water pressure in an upstairs shower room; a door that continually jams; a kitchen that is too small for your new found love of home cooking; or a room that you have decided is just the ‘wrong shape’.

Another reason for wanting to move could be a desire to ‘out do’ friends and family by moving into a better property. Envy, fear and loathing of not ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is another reason that certainly affects the ‘psychology’ of a home mover, too.

Trading Up

As a nation we are obsessed with property and home ownership, perhaps why then we are always looking to ‘trade-up’ and put ourselves through the hassle of moving home. Even in today’s sluggish property market it is surprising to note how many people are hoping to move – and bag themselves a property bargain in the process.

According to a study in 2007 by Zurich, homeowners expect to own and live in five properties over the course of their lifetime. The majority will travel an average 125 miles when moving house, but the more nomadic – 9 per cent of homeowners – will travel 400 miles or more between homes.

When choosing homes in the past, size mattered for the 46 per cent of homeowners who moved in favour of a larger house. 24 per cent desired a move to a different area, while 17 per cent took the chance to move to a more rural location.

Retirement

Figures from Saga reveal that July is the month when most of the over-50s move to another property. Retirement is a time when a large proportion of the population consider a move. They are no longer constrained by having to live near work and typically the over-50s is likely to spread across the UK and even further afield after retirement.

For example, in the South East, the Saga figures show that 43% of people plan to move away on retirement, perhaps to take advantage of cheaper living costs and maximise their retirement income.

Moving House Quick Check List:

If you are planning on moving house follow these rules:

Get your services switched: To avoid unnecessary disruption you should look to get the gas and electricity switched over to your name. Also, make sure that phone and broadband services are enabled prior to moving in as these often take a number of weeks to become active.

You should also look to get adequate home insurance in place to cover your property from the very first day you move in.

Keys: You will need keys to access the property – so check to see who has the keys. Check with the solicitor and estate agents for exact dates and times for picking up your keys. You may want to consider changing the locks for your new property – as you can never be sure who has a set of old keys for a property.

Get Packing: The big disruption with moving house is having to pack up your old life and move it to a new one. Start well in advance and remember to label everything so you can find it when you are unpacking.

Policy Expert 

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.