How often British home-owners move

How Often Do British Home-Owners Move?

Written by Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
18th September 2017 (Last updated on Thursday 22nd February 2018)

The average British home-owner will move house every 23 years, according to new research released by Zoopla and Hometrack.

Here at Compare My Move, we know how important it is to get a house move done professionally and correctly. We believe it's worth doing right, especially if it only happens on average every 23 years!

The 23-year average is the current speed at which properties are being sold across Britain, but the research shows a big difference between certain local areas.

Home owners in Midlothian in Scotland are the most frequent movers, with homes changing hands every 15 years on average. Outside of London, residents of Powys in Wales are the most settled homeowners in Britain, moving on average every 33 years.

In London, Tower Hamlets residents move most frequently every 16 years, compared to the relatively settled Kensington and Chelsea residents who stay on average of 38 years.

The average time between house moves was calculated by comparing housing stock levels and total property transactions over the last year.


Region by Region

Region by region, Scotland are currently the most frequent movers in Britain, where the average homeowner changes property ever 19.6 years. In comparison, home-owners in Wales are most settled, taking an average of 26.8 years to move between properties.

RegionAverage Property ValueYears between moves (average)

Scotland

£184,800

19.6

South West

£295,148

20.6

East of England

£356,745

20.9

East Midlands

£209,647

21.3

South East

£407,895

21.4

West Midlands

£219,257

23.8

North West

£190,726

24.2

Yorkshire and The Humber

£173,461

24.2

North East

£188,996

26.0

London

£677,524

26.5

Wales

£181,856

26.8      


Local Moves

Locally, Midlothian in Scotland has been crowned home to Britain’s most frequent-movers, as home-owners switch homes every 14.9 years. This is in contrast to residents of Powys in Wales who are some of the most settled home-owners in Britain, moving on average every 33.1 years. Find below the top 10 and bottom 10 areas respectively for average years between moves (excluding London).

Top 10
AreaAverage property valyeYears between moves (average)

Midlothian

£205,195

14.9

Dartford

£334,963

16.5

Edinburgh (City)

£280,874

16.6

Kettering

£223,041

16.8

Glasgow (City)

£179,256

16.8

East Northamptonshire

£248,293

17.0

Renfrewshire

£154,679

17.3

Taunton Deane

£267,238

17.3

Corby

£173,109

17.4

Aylesbury Vale

£415,237

17.4

 Bottom 10
AreaAverage property valueYears between moves (average)

Powys

£205,830

33.1

Oxford

£502,606

31.6

Gwynedd

£188,537

31.2

Blackpool

£124,176

31.1

Pembrokeshire

£194,772

31.0

Kingston upon Hull, City of

£135,649

30.8

Wrexham

£179,698

30.0

Blackburn with Darwen

£131,670

29.7

Isle of Anglesey

£187,122

29.7

Denbighshire

£167,041

29.5


London Moves

Tower Hamlets top the highest property turnover rate in London, with properties changing ownership on average every 15.9 years. In contrast, the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea sees the slowest changes in home ownership, with residents only moving on average every 38.1 years.

Top 10 London Boroughs
AreaAverage property valueYears between moves (average)

Tower Hamlets

£565,139

15.9

Greenwich

£456,659

19.7

Southwark

£649,758

21.1

Wandsworth

£804,289

21.1

Lewisham

£484,939

21.8

Sutton

£451,148

22.1

Bromley

£535,225

23.1

Lambeth

£688,230

23.2

Havering

£399,314

23.4

Barking and Dagenham

£295,553

24.9      

Bottom 10 London Boroughs
AreaAverage property valueYears between moves (average)

Kensington and Chelsea

£2,231,803

38.1

Harrow

£553,385

36.8

Ealing

£612,757

35.7

Haringey

£669,407

35.2

Westminster

£1,409,193

34.9

Enfield

£478,541

34.9

Camden

£1,127,073

32.6

Brent

£534,651

32.3

Redbridge

£465,735

32.0

Newham

£385,152

31.7      


Property trends, booms and busts

The research also highlighted the peaks and troughs of house sales over the last few decades, and shows how property sales are affected by financial booms and busts. The highest frequency for houses changing hands was in 1988, coinciding with the financial boom, which saw properties being sold on average every 9 years. This is in comparison to a slowdown in 2009 which saw British home owners waiting an average of 29 years to move house on the back of the 2008 financial crash.

Spokesperson for Zoopla Lawrence Hall said: “It’s interesting to see where in Britain property is changing hands more frequently, with home movement in an area typically indicating a liquid property market. Regions with a shorter time between house moves could offer better affordability than those areas where properties change hands less regularly.

“In Kettering, for example, the average property is currently valued at £223,041 - £84k (37.73 per cent) less than the UK average. In contrast, regions where properties change hands less often can suggest a lower level of demand, or less housing stock – particularly in rural areas.”


Moving is major

The research demonstrates just how major a life experience moving can be, with many homeowners likely to only move a few times in their lifetimes. So when you do decide to move, it’s best to do it right: use Compare My Move to save time and money on your home removal.

We’ve helped thousands of movers each year save up to 70% on moving costs by pairing them up with up to 6 local removal companies. Just fill in a free, simple form and make Compare My Move work for you.

And even if you have an average of 23 years to plan and prepare for your house move, you can get started today with expert tips and tricks by looking through our home removal guides.

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