Staying close to home

Despite common perceptions that children typically leave home for new and exciting destinations, research suggests almost half of homeowners in the UK simply move down the road.

In today’s modern global community, the study for Nationwide Building Society discovers almost half (44%) of homeowners live no further than 10 miles from where they grew up.

Yet interestingly, two-thirds say they would consider moving away. So, is it the case that half of all UK homeowners are staying put, simply because they are too comfortable to move, or is it that people are making a conscious choice to put friends and family first and believe that the home really is where the heart is?

For many, what prevents a move away is a desire to stay close to their family (51%) and friends (46%). Only 18% cited confidence in local schools as a reason to stay – with those in the north most likely to be swayed by this (28%).

Comfort and familiarity with surroundings was respondents’ most mentioned reason for staying put (52%), with emphasis on this increasing in the South to 66%. Yet the vast majority of those questioned (62%) said they would consider leaving – suggesting that for at least half of UK home owners, emotional considerations such as the unfamiliarity of new surroundings or leaving friends and family are more important when choosing where to live than practical considerations such as saving money or developing a career.

For the 56% who have moved away, more emphasis was placed on logical and practical considerations. The top motivator was moving to take up a job (34%), with more women than men citing work as a reason for moving (43%). Fewer moved to be with their partner (21%) although more women than men moved for love (23%). Parents moving to access better schools accounted for just 3%, although interestingly the greatest concentration of these (13%) were in Scotland.