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The share of Brits moving each year has been declining since the late 1980s (when at one stage, people moved every eight years), yet since the pandemic's beginning, something has appeared to upset that trend.

Newspaper articles and social media posts painted a picture of homeowners moving from the city centres to its suburbs, from the suburbs to the towns and countryside around the UK. Areas like the Cotswolds and coastal towns around the country got swamped by the 'race for space', significantly affecting housing markets (including Stamford).

But how many Brits moved? And how long had they been in their homes before they moved?

In Great Britain, there are 28.3 million households, of which 19.3 million are owner-occupied and 4.43m owned by private buy-to-let landlords.

There is £7,035 trillion of residential property in private hands.

Eight years before the initial lockdown in 2020, an average of 79,646 properties were sold each month in the UK, meaning just under a million UK households move home annually.

Therefore, in those 8 years, the average British homeowner

moved every 20 years and 4 months.

So, what uplift was there in people moving home after the first lockdown in 2020?

In 2021 and early 2022, an average of 102,021 people moved home monthly, taking the average move time to once every 16 years. So even though there was an uplift in people moving home, it was nothing like the 1980s.

It shows that in the 21st Century, once you have succeeded in buying a property you can call home, there isn't much enthusiasm to move again.

What’s happening in the Stamford property market now?

We love our homes in Stamford, but most of us (including myself) still want to 'better our lives' with a larger house, better area etc., which typically requires us to climb up the Stamford property ladder.

Yet, with Stamford house prices having risen by 392.2% in the last 25 years, the cost of going up the next rung on the Stamford property ladder has become prohibitive.

Everyone remembers back to the 1980s, when we had an upbeat booming property market as a backdrop, and British homeowners moved home every eight years; so now, with the average move time in the mid to late teens (in years), this equates to each homeowner only moving around three to four times in their adult lifetime.

Or could it be something else?

We all know the phrase, “lies, damn lies and statistics".

The home moving statistics above hide some great details about the British property market.

When British homeowners get into their 50s, 60s and beyond, their inclination to move home drops like the proverbial stone.

The average time a homeowner without a mortgage moves home is 24 years and 27 weeks (and just over 7 out of 10 outright homeowners, i.e. without a mortgage, are 65 or older). 

Homeowners with a mortgage tend to be younger to middle-aged.

Homeowners with a mortgage move on average

every 10 years and 11 weeks.

So, whilst I cannot determine which house seller has a mortgage and which doesn't, I can look at how quickly people move home in Stamford. 

Therefore, I have taken a look at the last 50 property sales in Stamford and found some interesting results.

The average Stamford homeowner had only been in

their home on average 11 years and 16 weeks before they sold.

Yet the devil is in the detail.

There appears to be a two-speed Stamford property market …

50% of Stamford house sellers in 2022 had

only been in their old home on average 4 years and 41 weeks.

Then, let's split the findings into quarters.

·       Top 25% fastest Stamford homeowners in 2022 moved on average after 2 years & 43 weeks

·       The following 25% of fastest Stamford homeowners in 2022 moved on average after 6 years & 32 weeks

·       The next 25% of Stamford homeowners in 2022 moved on average after 13 years & 8 weeks

·       Whilst the 25% slowest Stamford homeowners in 2022 moved on average after 22 years & 7 weeks

When looking at the properties that fall into the slower time bands (i.e., the ones that don’t move/sell so often), they tend to be the larger properties where the homeowners have lived often for 30 or 40 years.

Maybe, the one lesson from these statistics is that once homeowners get into their 60’s and 70’s, their tendency and inclination to move home declines significantly.

This means the homes on the lower rungs of the Stamford property ladder are selling quickly (as younger aged homeowners occupy them) ... yet once Stamford people tend to get older, their tendency to move diminishes.

This obstructs the younger generation of Stamford homeowners from wanting to buy the bigger Stamford properties these mature Stamford homeowners live in.

What’s holding the older generation back from selling and downsizing to free up family homes for families that desperately need them? Some will be apathy, and some will be wanting to hold on to the homes they brought their families up in, yet the bottom line is …

as a country, we must reconsider how we can encourage (not force) older homeowners to sell their large homes to release them to the younger families that desperately need them.

Some recent articles I’ve written suggested tax breaks, yet the government doesn't have the money to give massive tax breaks.

One thing I do know is that we, as a country, have seen (and will continue to see) a lot of demographic change together with an increasingly ageing population, so it’s not just about how many households we build but whether we are constructing the right kind of homes for the older generation?

Thought-provoking times are ahead for the Stamford property market!

If you have a Stamford property to sell in the coming months or years and want to know how this and other factors will affect you and your property ... without obligation, don't hesitate to call me.