The housing happiness divide

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Over 55's are twice as likely to be happy with their homes, whilst younger generations and renters are struggling

The UK's leading property marketplace, TheHouseshop.com, have recently conducted a YouGov survey to discover if the Great British public are happy with the homes they live in. The results showed that while almost three quarters (73%) of Brits are happy with their properties, more than 1 in 10 (12%) have fallen out of love with their homes. There was also a stark difference between the generations and a clear divide between homeowners and renters, which have been highlighted below.

Key points:

• Almost three quarters of Brits are happy with their home (73%)
• More than 1 in 10 (12%) Brits are unhappy with their home
• Over 55’s clear winners as happiest homeowners (85%) – but younger generations struggling to keep up

  • Over 55’s twice as likely to be “very happy” compared to any other age group
  • Younger age groups were three times more likely to be unhappy (17%) compared to over 55’s (5%)
  • Huge difference between homeowners and private renters
  • 83% of homeowners were happy vs 54% of private renters
  • Over 1 in 5 private renters (21%) were unhappy with their home, compared to less than 1 in 10 homeowners (8%)
  • Londoners most likely to be “very unhappy” (6%)

Happy homeowners & troubled tenants - private renters twice as likely to be unhappy with their homes

One of the most striking insights from the results was the huge difference between the happiness of renters compared with homeowners. 83% of homeowners said they were happy with their home, compared to just over half (54%) of tenants renting from a private landlord.

Renters were also much more likely to be unhappy with their current property – more than 1 in 5 (21%) private renters said they were either “fairly unhappy” or “very unhappy”, compared to less than 1 in 10 (8%) homeowners who said the same. This means that tenants are more than twice as likely to be unhappy with their homes.  

Nick Marr, Co-founder of TheHouseShop.com, comments on the possible causes of the divide between renters and homeowners:

“It was excellent to see that the vast majority of the Great British public are happy with their homes, however it was worrying to see such a clear divide between homeowners and renters in the happiness stakes.”

“With a lot of negative press for the private rented sector recently and campaign groups like Shelter and Generation Rent calling for better standards and protection for tenants – it is perhaps not surprising to find that more than 1 in 5 renters (21%) said they were unhappy with their home.”

“For homeowners, the commitment to a property is much more permanent than it is for renters, and buyers will spend a lot of time and effort choosing their ideal property and carrying out improvement works over the years to perfect it.“

“Tenants, on the other hand, are rarely allowed to make even superficial changes or improvements to their homes, so it is highly unlikely that they will ever achieve the same level of happiness as homeowners.”

Over 55's clear winners as happiest homeowners, while younger generations struggle to keep up

Another key point of difference in the results was the clear divide between older and younger age groups. Over 55’s in particular (often referred to as the ‘Baby Boomers’) were by far the happiest with their homes (85%), and were more than twice as likely to be “very happy” when compared to any younger age group.

At the other end of the spectrum, 25-34 year olds were the least likely to be “very happy” with their properties, with just 16% selecting this option. This means that Millennial’s ‘Baby Boomer’ parents are more than three times as likely to be “very happy” with their homes – with a whopping 51% of over 55’s saying they are “very happy”.

It was also interesting to note that while just 1 in 20 over 55’s said they were unhappy with their property, there were more than three times as many (17%) people aged under 55 who said the same.

 

 

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