Homeowners stay in their homes for longer, typically just over a decade, new research reveals. The trend is being attributed to a number of factors, including the cost of living crisis and higher borrowing costs. The analysis was carried out by home buying service Spring, and property data platform PropAlt, which also suggested grown-up children are staying at home for longer.

As featured in The Daily Mail - 11th March 2024 by Myra Butterworth

And it added that downsizers are among those staying in their homes longer as they struggle to move due to stamp duty costs and a lack of suitable properties

The findings were based on Land Registry data, and revealed that people were typically staying put 121 months - or the equivalent of ten years - between 2019 and 2022.

It compares to an average of 110 months - or nine years - between 2015 and 2019, and 99 months - or 8.25 years - between 2011 and 2014.

The last three years of the exclusive research for MailOnline Property and This is Money covers the pandemic when the property market was temporarily shut for a period during lockdown.

The amount of time homeowners stay on average in a property is also affected by its size.

People stay in three-bedroom houses for 94 months at 7.8 years on average, rising to 102 months or 8.5 years for four-bedroom houses and 109 months or nine years for five-bedrooms homes.

This increases to 113 months or 9.4 years, for six-bedroom homes.

It is perhaps unsurprising that people live in large family homes for longer, but experts have warned that some downsizers are trapped due to the high costs of moving.

It has led to calls - including from Spring - for stamp duty to be reduced for downsizers, but no measures came to fruition in the Chancellor's Budget this week.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf, said: 'This confirms a lot of what we are seeing on the ground in that people living in houses often want to move and have good reason to do so but are deterred by various factors.

'It has a lot to do with economics and practicalities.

'The pandemic put lives on hold and accelerated trends which were already underway.

'With the race for space, and particularly outside space, those with houses with gardens felt there was no real reason to move.

'Also, these homes provided the opportunity for older children who were starting work the option to stay at home longer than they might otherwise have done.

People living in houses often want to move and have good reason to do so but are deterred by various factors

'The situation has evolved and with more returning to work, once again those with larger houses are considering their options as lifestyle choices become more straightforward.

'It is certainly not cheaper to move home than it was a few years ago because house prices have continued their inexorable rise upwards but certainly we are seeing much more flexibility in choice of accommodation and more willingness to consider a move now so I would expect the picture to change gradually over the next few years.'

Area Average time spent 6 beds
Broxtowe 128 months (10.6 years)
Bexley 125 months (10.4 years)
Central Bedfordshire 123 months (10.25 years)
East Hertfordshire 123 months (10.25 years)
Redbridge 120 months (10 years)
Southwark 120 months (10 years)
Stratford-on-Avon 119 months (9.9 years)
Tameside 117 months (9.75 years)
Buckinghamshire 116 months (9.6 years)
Cardiff 115 months (9.5 years)

He added: 'The absence of help in successive Budgets particularly for those downsizing has not encouraged many to move, as well as the lack of choice of alternative accommodation for those considering retirement or concerned about health issues in later life.'

Area Average time spent 5 beds
Knowsley, Merseyside 137 months (11.4 years)
City of London 129 months (10.75 years)
Richmondshire, North Yorkshire 126 months (10.5 years)
Sutton 124 months (10.3 years)
Tameside 122 months (10.1 years)
Watford 120 months (10 years)
West Lancashire 119 months (9.9 years)
Solihull 115 months (9.5 years)
Rushmoor 115 months (9.5 years)
Reading 114 months (9.5 years)

And Nick Sanderson, of retirement property firm the Audley Group, said: 'The focus shouldn't only be on building more homes for first-time buyers. It's about building the right types of homes.

'The Government must look at how the property market functions as a whole. Instead of continuing its blinkered focus on first time buyers and young families, it has to look at increasing the supply of age-specific housing.

'This would encourage older homeowners to move out of large family homes, freeing up supply and creating movement up and down the ladder. The benefits of this are numerous.

'Any new development should include provision for age-specific housing.'

Area Average time spent 4 beds
Havering 114 months (9.5 years)
South Lakeland 112 months (9.3 years)
Bolton 111 months (9.25 years)
Enfield 111 months (9.25 years)
Gravesham 111 months (9.25 years)
Croydon 110 months (9.1 years)
Hertsmere 109 months (9 years)
Luton 108 months (9 years)
Oldham 108 months (9 years)
Knowsley, Merseyside 108 months (9 years)

The Spring and PropAlt research looked at the length of time that people stay in their homes across England, Scotland and Wales. And some of PropAlt's own research was used for the regional findings.

For example, homeowners living in a five-bedroom house in the City of London are staying in their home for 129 months - or 10.75 years - slightly longer than the average for the country as a whole.

It is a similar story in Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, where the average period is 126 months or 10.5 years and Knowsley in Merseyside at 137 months or 11.4 years.

By contrast, homeowners with a four-bedroom property in the City of London are staying in their home for a shorter amount of time at 100 months or 8.3 years.

And yet homeowners who own a three-bedroom home in the City of London are staying for 119 months or 9.9 years, while two-bedroom homeowners are staying put for 98 months or 8.1 years on average.

Area Average time spent 3 beds
City of London 119 months (9.9 years)
South Bucks 106 months (8.8 years)
Barking and Dagenham 102 months (8.5 years)
Conwy 101 months (8.4 years)
Enfield 100 months (8.3 years)
Pembrokeshire 100 months (8.3 years)
Powys 99 months (8.25 years)
Wrexham 98 months (8.1 years)
Basildon 98 months (8.1 years)
Camden 97 months (8 years)

Homeowners living in a four-bedroom property in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, are staying in their home for 102 months or 8.5 years, whereas three-bedroom homeowners in the region are staying for 98 months or 8.1 years, while those in a two-bedroom property are staying for 97 months or 8 years.

Meanwhile, in Merseyside's Knowsley, homeowners who own a four-bedroom home are staying for 108 months or nine years, falling to 98 months or 8.1 years for those who own a three-bedroom home. The average time for a two-bedroom home is 97 months or eight years).

Cormac Henderson, of Spring, said: 'Uncertainty, rising borrowing costs and cost-of-living increases mean that many people are staying in their homes for longer.

'Another factor to consider is that with getting onto the property ladder becoming so difficult, grown-up children are staying at home for longer than ever before, which might be putting the brakes on parents downsizing their homes.'

'We also know that many older residents feel trapped in their large family homes. We've previously called on the government to introduce an initiative for Stamp Duty Land Tax exceptions for downsizers, and we still believe this initiative would accelerate the number of elderly homeowners who are considering downsizing.'

Area Average time spent 2 beds
Wyre 102 months (8.5 years)
West Lancashire 102 months (8.5 years)
Eden 98 months (8.1 years)
Knowsley 98 months (8.1 years)
Derbyshire 97 months (8 years)
Craven 95 months (7.9 years)
Isle of Wight 95 months (7.9 years)
Merthyr 94 months (7.8 years)
North East Derbyshire 93 months (7.7 years)
Shepway 92 months (7.6 years)

Full Daily Mail article link can be found here  

Take control of selling your home GET YOUR OFFER

Enter your postcode, we'll do the rest