Homemovers on the rise

Member Article

Converting data into actionable insight

2022 has been widely coined the year of data transformation – hot off the coattails of the pandemic induced digital transformation seen over the last 24 months. Businesses are now trying to get to grips with the volume of data created by their digitisation. However, what many are finding is that more data does not equal better. In the rush to consolidate it has been forgotten that data is fuel. It’s the insight that is the flame.

Homemover data, provides a very good example of this.

People in the UK are some of the most prolific home movers in the world. Stats from ONS show that on average those of us living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland move around eight times in our lifetime, which is almost double the number of moves made by people in France, Germany and Spain. Moreover, this figure has increased by 100 per cent over the last forty-seven years. In 1975 the average Brit relocated four times. And this growth is showing no sign of abating as people are increasingly flitting from one house to another to make their way up the property ladder.

One reason for this is that people in the UK put a lot of stock in real estate. According to a recent survey by Finder.co.uk close to a third of people (30 per cent) believe property will be the best performing investment in 2022. In contrast, consumers in the US thought that cash would be best performing investment, with property attracting just 21 per cent of the vote. This drops even lower in Hong Kong where only 14 per cent believe property to be a sound investment choice.

In addition to the UK’s confidence in property as an investment, another reason for the growth in home moves is a steady decline in job tenure. The length of time people spend in a job in the UK is the lowest in the OECD (a membership organisation comprising 37 countries). Prior to the pandemic and the trend for working from home, it was not unusual for people to relocate to take up a new job. But all this changed in 2020. Due to COVID people no longer needed to move to be near their place of work. As a result, you might expect a drop off in home moves. But this hasn’t been the case.

Instead, we’ve seen new trends emerge, such as the attraction of larger homes in more rural areas. In 2021 detached houses were seeing the most demand experiencing an uplift of sales agreed of 24 per cent since 2019. Likewise, four- and five-bedroom houses also recorded the most sales experiencing uplifts of 31 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

Covid has led to the most buoyant property market in over a decade. And despite the Stamp Duty Holiday coming to an end late last year and a steady return to ‘normality’ our most recent Property & Homemovers Report shows that the average asking price across the UK is now £384,000 compared to £378,000 in 2020, an increase of 1.5 per cent. High prices are being maintained by a lack of property stock coming to the market. Demand continues to outstrip supply. Sales agreed are up nearly 13 per cent year on year and Exchanges have increased by 29 per cent meaning home sellers can now command close to the asking price for their property, with no need to discount.

What these homemovers stats show us is that an understanding of the property market uncovers new trends and provides a snapshot into the psyche of UK consumers. But more than that it can also be very important business driver.

Why? Because homemovers are very big business. They are currently the most valuable consumer group in the UK. People who move house, spend money. Fact. They spend it on a huge range of things; new furniture, new floors, doors and windows, new kitchens and bathrooms, home improvements and DIY, home furnishings, new plants, shrubs and outdoor furniture, technology, a new car, new memberships, energy saving devices… the list goes on.

Homemovers spend an additional £13,000, over and above the cost of their house, within a year of moving into their new property. On average the most expensive single property improvement was made on new furniture (£1,251.63), followed by a new kitchen (£1,185.86), a new bathroom (£1,115.18) and energy efficiency (£1,021.72). Additionally, a further £792 was spent on smart devices, like the Amazon Echo or Nest, although Londoners spent more than double this amount (£1,793) on home tech. This spending equates to three per cent of GDP and represents a massive opportunity to businesses that are still navigating their way out of the pandemic. And its not just consumables such as furniture. When people move house, they carry out DIY and build conservatories or change windows and doors. They also reassess many of their suppliers including finance and utilities. Additionally, many people upgrade their cars following a move. It is clear that homemovers are an important potential audience for many sectors. Our most recent figures show that there are currently over 1.1 million households entering, progressing or completing the process of moving. At each stage homemoves have different needs and will be making very different purchasing decisions. Therefore, understanding exactly where people are in the homemoving journey is critical – or businesses risk missing out on this lucrative market. Too soon and businesses risk irrelevance; too late and they might lose out to another brand.

It is widely agreed that data will be the driving force behind business recovery following the pandemic. However, data only tells half the story. It’s the insight that drives tangible business improvement. For instance, the fact that there are 1.1 million people in the moving journey is interesting – however, it’s the insight of which households are where and what decisions they are making that will enable organisations to bolster their bottom line. Actionable insight at its best!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by TwentyCi .

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