Homes

Recently released figures have suggested that ‘baby boomers’ are three times more likely to be happy with their homes than younger generations.

A YouGov survey conducted by TheHouseShop.com has revealed a marked disparity between different age groups when it comes to being happy with the home you live in. The figures, collected from 2,014 adults, found that over 55’s were 85% likely to be either ‘Very Happy’ or ‘Fairly Happy’ with their homes, compared to just 59% of 25-34 year olds. 

When looking at who was ‘Very Happy’, the older group was three times more likely to respond positively than the younger, with 51% compared to just 16%.

The younger group, which TheHouseShop label as ‘Millennials’, were 17% likely to be either ‘Very Unhappy’ or ‘Fairly Unhappy’ with their homes. While this figure might seem high compared to the 5% of over 55’s, the younger group were not wholly negative. In this category, 20% said that they were ‘Neither Happy nor Unhappy’, compared to 8% of over 55’s. 

However, there is still a large difference between the two age groups: even if we include figures for those who are at least satisfied with their homes, 93% of over 55’s responded positively, compared to just 79% of the younger group.

Homes

Interestingly, dissatisfaction was also higher among ‘Private Renters’ than ‘Homeowners’. Around 83% of homeowners were happy with their homes, compared to 54% of renters. Looking at those who said they were ‘Very Unhappy’ or ‘Fairly Unhappy’ with their homes, 21% of private renters responded compared to only 8% of homeowners.

“It was excellent to see that the vast majority of the Great British public are happy with their homes, however, it was worrying to see such a clear divide between homeowners and renters in the happiness stakes,” said Nick Marr, Co-Founder of TheHouseShop.

When looking at who was ‘Very Happy’, the older group was three times more likely to respond positively than the younger, with 51% compared to just 16%.

“With a lot of negative press for the private rented sector recently, and campaign groups like Shelter and Generation Rent calling for better standards and protection for tenants, it is perhaps not surprising to find that more than 1 in 5 renters (21%) said they were unhappy with their home.

“For homeowners, the commitment to a property is much more permanent than it is for renters, and buyers will spend a lot of time and effort choosing their ideal property and carrying out improvement works over the years to perfect it.“

“Tenants, on the other hand, are rarely allowed to make even superficial changes or improvements to their homes, so it is highly unlikely that they will ever achieve the same level of happiness as homeowners.”

Homes

While this is certainly an important factor, home improvements cannot be the only reason why renters are less satisfied with their homes. In fact, according to a recent survey by Plentific.com, 73% of renters conduct DIY work on their homes at their own expense, while over 20% spend more than £500 on average for home improvements. In other words, tenants can still have something of a “permanent” link to their homes, even if they do not own them.

Regional variations in the quality of homes can also be important when it comes to satisfaction. For example, TheHouseShop’s survey briefly mentioned that Londoners were the most likely to be unhappy with their home at 6%. Both rental and purchase prices in the capital are much higher than elsewhere, meaning that both buyers and renters tend to get lower quality or smaller properties for their money.

Even so, these divides are certainly “worrying”. Are homeowners always likely to be more satisfied with their homes than renters? If so, will generation rent’s struggle to afford property mean that they will still be unsatisfied as they get older? 

It remains to be seen, but with “the vast majority of the Great British public” being happy in their homes, there may be more hope for the property market than we realise.