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Moving habits in the United Kingdom

Posted on 25th March 2023 by Master Removers

It’s been a while since we were hunter-gatherers here on these misty islands.  But even when agriculture settled people in locations, there was always a lot of movement. Now we are moving from the post-industrial age, patterns are changing again, as many can work from home and the housing market dictates patterns of movement. The migratory patterns of modern Britons are shifting again.  As the Master Removers Group, we represent the best of the removals and storage trade in the UK.  Our members provide customers all over the country with excellent removals and storage services, from region to region. From generation to generation there are changes in moving habits, based on economic factors and other drivers.  We will look at the recent patterns in the UK to see how often on average people move in their lifetime.

General moving patterns in the UK 

Capital cities generally magnetize people towards them seeking opportunity.  London attracts around 200,000 people a year to the capital.  In comparison, the number of people leaving the city is around 25,000 a year. During and after the pandemic there has been a rise in people leaving London in the “race for space”, but that was in a certain section of the market.  Numbers in a national poll suggest each person moves every 23 years, however, it is also noted most people move roughly 8 times in their life. Most of these 8 moves take place between the ages of 18-30.  After the age of 30, this frequency generally slows down.  Overall figures suggest three-quarters of all moves in the UK are to stay within the UK, with one quarter being emigrations or overseas moves. Each month 100,000 households will change residence, which demonstrates the importance of the removals and storage trade. 

What part of the country moves most and moves least?

In some parts of the country, people move on average every 16 years or under, which is seen as frequently in comparison with the other end of the scale at around 33 years between moves.  In Scotland, there seems to be a tendency to frequently move, with Midlothian and Edinburgh, and Glasgow all coming in around the 15-16 year mark.  The Welsh seem to want to persist in one location, representing longevity at around 30-33 years before moving in Powys and Pembrokeshire.  The North of the UK tends to move less than the South with a pattern that suggests in rural locations there is less frequency of movement.   Availability of housing is a factor. Where there are cheaper available options there is more frequency of movement.  One example of that is in Kettering in the UK and in Dartford, where there are more new build projects providing affordable housing. In these places people move more frequently.

Moving in Oxford 

In Oxford, the city of the dreaming spires, properties don’t change hands that often.  As the properties are desirable and high value there is a lack of affordability in the local market which slows down frequent moving.  Isis Removals in Oxford is a member of our Master Removers Group and has been serving Oxford for the last 12 years.  Recently, Aussie Oxford, the popular London removals company also provides Oxford with swift Man and Van services as well as removals and storage solutions. While properties may not change hands that frequently in Oxford, there is a lot of movement in the rental market as the city attracts many people for its universities and inspired city life.  Plus, it is a destination for many jaded Londoners who want to move to Oxford to downsize their city experience and maximise their access to the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. 

What factors drive the frequency of moving house?

A poll from the 80s demonstrates the average Brit moving house every 8.63 years.  Now the number is around 23 years.  With the fluidity of the housing market in the 80s, it is easy to understand that more affordable housing options made more frequent moves more possible. As finding a rung on the housing ladder has proved harder for subsequent generations, longer periods of time are required to prepare, gather funds, and make the move.  As the housing market has become more inflated and there is a shortage of available properties in desirable areas, and many have chosen to extend and build rather than move.  The prospect for others of downsizing into a declining market encourages people to stay put rather than lose out through a move.  As more people acquired second homes in the countryside, a shortage of local housing has taken place in those areas. A popular county for second homes is in the beautiful countryside of Dorset.

Moving house in Dorset 

Dorset’s population is steadily rising, as people seek post-pandemic lifestyle changes. Dorset has a total of 182,079 dwellings, but apparently, a total of 12,779 of these are regularly uninhabited.  Due to the trend of second homes, these homes are often uninhabited.  However, the recent changes in working from home and the increase in the short-term letting market may have a role to play in the usage of those properties.  As Dorset is likely to become more of a desirable location to live, there may be more possibilities for people to rent these places and work remotely.  Woods, one of our oldest family-run Dorset removals groups works with Airbnb hosts to assist them in their holiday let turnovers.  Johnsons of Shaftesbury move many people to Dorset every year as well as helping people move in and around Dorset.  Plus, in Gillingham, Aussie has one of their contemporary storage hubs where they provide excellent storage solutions for small businesses and locals in Wiltshire, Somerset, and Dorset. 

How often do people move house in London?

In London, Tower Hamlets is a place with a lot of frequent movement, and it is a place with a lot of social housing.  People in Tower Hamlets move around every 16 years.  In contrast, in Kensington and Chelsea, people move every 30 years or more.  As Kensington and Chelsea is a highly desirable area where the property is high-value investment, it is easy to see why that mountain will not move.   In areas where there is a mixture of types of housing, cheap and expensive, there is more variety and possibility. Gentleman & a Van has been serving London for nearly two decades and specializes in providing excellent bespoke service for high-value items during a removals experience.  Similarly, Anthony Ward Thomas has developed a removals and storage service second to none when it comes to handling fine art and artisan furniture.  As many Londoners took advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday in the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, home-moving numbers in London increased dramatically.  Surrey has always been a popular destination for Londoners to move to after the city, and WH Cox is an expert in smoothing the transition.  As Surrey’s expert removals and storage providers their 40 years of experience guarantee they have many happy customers.  While the market may be slowing down a little in London, the relevance of the storage industry is only increasing, as people seek more space to renovate, work from home and outsource their storage from the home.  Whether it’s swift deliveries, storage, or home removals Aussie London always has every postcode covered and prices to suit everyone.  The Master Removers Group have you covered, for that moment when you are ready to take flight, we can make sure you are in the right hands. Wherever you are in the UK.