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The grass IS greener: why it might be time to live oop north

by LaurettaCWright
The grass IS greener: why it might be time to live oop north

New research from first direct, which surveyed 4,000 people across the UK – 2000 renters and 2000 homeowners, reveals the views of Brits on their ‘forever home’.

Of those surveyed, less than half say their current location offers their dream home and 15% say they’ll travel overseas to find their forever home (of those who will relocate)

Wherever you hang your hat may be your home, but what are Brits looking for in their ‘forever home’ and why do many believe they can’t find it in Britain?

The new research pinpoints what our views of the modern forever home looks like and finds the top two features people demand in their dream home are a large kitchen (52%) and a private garden (47%), ahead of an ensuite bathroom (28%), an actual bath (24%) and a conservatory (19%).

However, 1 in 3 Brits believe they won’t find this in their current location and plan to move to either another city (35%) another region (40%) or another country (15%) as a result.

Gods Own country

Yorkshire tops the list of the most desirable regions to relocate to within the UK; with Spain, New Zealand and Australia all being popular choices overseas.

So what do these locations have that attract those searching for their forever home? According to the research, when it comes to essential amenities practicality is the name of the game, and the top three are: a supermarket (37%), low crime rates (36%), and good transport links (30%).

While men and women agree on the most important amenities, lower down the list there are some stereotypical differences. Women are twice as likely to consider local schools when selecting their perfect home, and men sneak a good local pub onto their list of priorities.

A forever home by 40

The study of 4,000 UK renters and homeowners also reveals that the average age to buy your forever home is 40.

With the average age of first-time buyers now 30, this means once they’ve put the first step on the housing ladder people are giving themselves just ten years to find their forever home.

The implications of this are highlighted by the fact 60% of homeowners expect to own more than one home before buying their forever home, whereas just 19% of tenants agree.

Tracy Garrad, chief executive of first direct, explains: “The saying used to be life begins at 40, but with more people buying homes later and also working and living longer we need to reset the dial.

“There’s an obvious impact on mortgages, but also on savings and loans too. The research highlights a need for more innovation in products and services as millennials demand solutions tailored to fit in with lifestyles which are very different to that of their parents.”

For more information and to watch the video see http://mortgages.firstdirect.com/hangmyhat


Carol Cliffe 6th August 2016 - 5:28 pm

That’s a very good point, Lauretta and Cheryl – the more affordable properties are in the North, but the jobs/career opportunities are not. Although it is heartening to see more businesses moving to the Manchester area, there is a whole world further north than that too, and a beautiful place called Scotland! Great article for sparking debate.

admin 6th August 2016 - 5:35 pm

Absolutely agree. I think it’s fair to say if you won the lotto then the whole job thing wouldn’t be an issue for most people. I have a couple of friends who live further north and, when I visit, I always think how much more space there is compared to the south and how people seem more relaxed in general. Mind you – anymore is more relaxed compared to London!

Cherryl 6th August 2016 - 7:49 am

Unfortunately, many of us are far from our dream home/location and governed by where the best career/job prospects are whilst establishing ourselves on the property ladder (hence moving more than once before finally achieving something close to ‘the dream’). I really feel for people trying to get on the property ladder today, in London it’s virtually impossible for the vast majority – so moving ‘up North’ could be a better option if jobs permit!! (an ex northerner myself) x

admin 6th August 2016 - 3:42 pm

Thanks Cherryl – I once lived up north (Preston) and have still got family there – I agree on the whole job front.


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