What are the characteristics of the British home owner?

What are the characteristics of the British home owner?

Sarah Beeny’s estate agency, Tepilo, analyses new research which reveals the life course and characteristics of a typical UK home owner.

New research has revealed in numbers the life of an average UK home owner – and it makes for fascinating reading.

The findings, which come from bespoke doors manufacturer Origin, found that the typical British owner moves out of their childhood home at 21, lives in seven houses throughout their life and spends a cool £26,295 in redecorating costs over a lifetime.

A typical mortgage, meanwhile, takes 20 years and nine months to pay off, costing home owners nearly £135,000 in the process.

The research also found that, on average, home owners will end up living about 66 miles away from their childhood abode and will only reside in two cities in their lifetime. The cost of moving will reach a total of £14,138, with removal fees, legal fees and stamp duty costs all factored in.

Typically, UK adults will live in two rental properties before they take their first step on the property ladder – a figure that may rise higher in the future as high house prices push home ownership further out of reach of younger buyers.

The study, which spoke to 2,000 UK home owners, analysed the different stages of property buying for the average British owner and how their property-based aspirations have changed over time.

With the cost of moving now much higher, many people choose to improve their existing homes rather than going through the hassle of moving to a new one. It may be a large project like a loft conversion, a new kitchen, a conservatory or an extension, or a smaller one such as a garden renovation, new doors or a change of décor – but, in many cases, improving a house over time can prove more cost-effective than moving about plenty.

It has started to go full circle, too. Once upon a time, a home would be for life, with people living in the same place from early adulthood to old age. The idea of upgrading and moving around wasn’t really considered. As home ownership became more widespread in the 1980s and 1990s, things started to take a different direction, with people upping sticks as their circumstances and needs changed – whether it be a bigger home for the purposes of starting a family or moving to a different part of the country for a new job. Today, there has been a resurgence in the number of people staying put – improving rather than moving.

On average, it takes four months and three weeks for people to feel settled in a new home. What’s more, over half of adults describe the moving process as the most stressful thing they’ve ever done.

Origin’s research also found that, on average, people contribute towards two different mortgages in a lifetime. And, more often than not, will start to think about downsizing at the age of 56.

The average UK property, meanwhile, costs around £249,127, with mortgage payments of £542.41 per month. Of those polled who have a mortgage, some 39% have paid it off, with 27% of these aged 55 or over.

Older housing stock also tends to dominate – period homes, period conversions, suburban homes built in the 1920s and 30s or shortly after the war, etc. – with more people (29%) living in properties built before the 1950s than from any other period.

But what does the average UK home look like, we hear you ask. Well, it has three bedrooms, is likely to have a garage attached and is likelier still to have access to off-road parking. The most popular type of interior, meanwhile, is ‘modern’, closely followed by ‘English country’ and ‘minimalist’.

Property in the UK is often owned jointly, with seven in 10 home owners purchasing their home with a partner or spouse, while a fifth have relied on the Bank of Mum and Dad – and financial help from parents – to get on the property ladder in the first instance.

Most Brits (a third) live in a semi-detached home, while just over a quarter live in a detached property and some 15% live in a terraced abode.

So, if the home you’re selling is semi-detached, with modern interiors, a garage, off-road parking and built before the 1950s, it is likely to prove highly popular. Whichever home you possess, the key, as always, is to make it look as welcoming, bright and attractive as possible. This will comfortably help to increase your chances of getting your asking price or above.