Happiness Is A Place To Call Your Own

Date: Wednesday 02 September 2009

The credit crunch and downturn in the housing market may be grabbing the headlines, but research by national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey in conjunction with University of Birmingham housing and inclusion expert, Dr Julie Christian, suggests that Brits really do think there’s still no place like a home of your own.

The survey by Taylor Wimpey, who also builds new homes across the UK under the George Wimpey and Bryant Homes brands, found that people still place great importance on buying their own property, with 76 per cent feeling more comfortable and settled in a property they owned rather than in rental accommodation.

Despite some gloomy forecasts in the media about the housing market, the survey found that people hold firm to their beliefs about owning property. The ability to create your own living space tops the list of benefits of owning your own home, with the longer term benefits of stability, security and investment for the future found to be other important aspects of ownership.

Regional variations highlighted that the Welsh are most likely to call their current property ‘home sweet home’, with 87 per cent feeling happy and settled. Londoners are least happy with where they live, perhaps reflecting the traditional difficulties many experience in finding suitable affordable accommodation in the capital.

The survey also found a notable level of dissatisfaction among those living in rental accommodation. It seems that lack of control over the property you live in can cause unhappiness, with renters expressing particular dislike of landlords who are non responsive and the intrusion of the workman sent to carry out repairs.

Kevin Belsham, sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey, said: “In the current uncertain economic climate it is perhaps unsurprising that people all over the country are holding firm to the security and comfort of their own home. Whether you’re unhappy in rented accommodation and looking to get a place of your own, moving to accommodate a growing family, downsizing to a smaller property or looking to buy as an investment, we believe that now is a great time to buy, with the right advice and support. Property prices are at their most attractive for years, interest rates are at historic lows and we are offering a host of incentives to help all types of homebuyers get on and move up the property ladder.”

According to Dr. Julie Christian of the University of Birmingham, the desire for home ownership remains a central part of the nation’s fabric. “The desire to own a home of one’s own does not vary from region to region, meaning that the desire to feel more settled is a factor that transcends national location and is more central to personal identity. It is nonetheless linked to raising a family and to the ease with which one can own hold employment, particularly important in today’s financial climate.”

Gemma Oswell, who bought a home with her partner Alex Fuller, said: “We are so glad we bought our own place as we’re now investing in our own future rather than paying off someone else’s mortgage. The day we got the keys to our home was excellent – despite the credit crunch we had still managed to buy our own place and we had a real feeling of accomplishment and ownership.”