New research has revealed that a large number of homeowners in the UK become emotionally attached to their property. 43% of those surveyed admitted they felt lost, sad, or grief when they moved homes. 83% admitted that they are emotionally attached to their home, and 62% feel dread or nervousness at the thought of selling. Just 23% claimed that they felt excited about moving.
It is thought that the memories in that home affect most people rather than the physical property itself. However, the location and garden of the home are also very important and can evoke feelings of sadness when moving. A combination of such feelings is felt stronger by older homeowners, particularly those aged over 45. Those aged between 18 and 34 were the most excited or happy at the thought of selling their property, coming in at an average of 30%.
Emotional attachment is a large part of the reason older homeowners feel reluctant to downsize and move into a smaller home.
For many, a home represents far more than simply bricks and mortar, but properties hold a host of memories, such as starting a family, thus holding enormous emotional and sentimental value.
Those in the downsize age category find it hard to say goodbye to such memories and feel a sense of dread about selling, hence they would instead remain in their current property than face the emotional upheaval they anticipate.
When those surveyed were asked what they value the most about their current home, 34% said memories, 21.5% said location, and 13% said the garden. The property’s actual features and specific home rooms were ranked lowest.
With homeowners having invested years into their current property financially and emotionally, it is understandable that movers and downsizers are not prepared to settle for the next best thing and the wrong kind of home.
The industry must use this survey to realise and address this issue to develop new, person-centred approaches to help people move homes or downsize.
Homeowners in Scotland and the South East of England feel most reluctant to sell their property. Both areas record above national averages regarding nervousness or dread at 69.3% and 63.5%, respectively. Elsewhere, homeowners in Wales are most excited to sell their homes, with 23% expressing this sentiment. Those closely followed this in the East Midlands, Northern Ireland, London, and the North West, all recording over 20%.
A separate survey of UK estate agents revealed that some 75% feel there is not enough housing stock available to buy, and some 80% agreed that not enough people are downsizing to free up family homes.
However, the current issue of ‘property attachment’ caused a divide among respondents; some 39% believed it could affect homeowners, while 46% disagreed.