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Home sellers more upset about leaving their home than their partner, as breakups drive home moves

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We give market commentary when journalists or news outlets approach us directly for comment on specific topics. We share our commentary here too. See below.

Although Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, not everyone is feeling the love within the UK property market. This week we can reveal the driving factors for those having to move home, and which hurts most: Breaking up with a partner or with our property.

Breakups driving home moves in 2021

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Divorce and breakups the leading cause of home moves in 2021

We asked home sellers what the main reason was for their move and found that selling a house after a divorce or a relationship ending was the driving factor for 23% of people.

While the end of a relationship has always been one of the main factors behind home moves, and a particular driver of some owners trying to sell a house fast, Covid has likely caused this to increase. It’s believed that searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to Covid, with actual enquiries also spiking by 122%.

Other main drivers for moving home

Infographic with a pie chart showing the reasons for moving home. 23% due to divorce, 21% relocating for personal reasons, 19% upsizing, 11% relocating for work.

Selling your home when relocating was the cause of a home move for 21% of those asked.

More space had spurred a move for 19% who were upsizing, while 11% were relocating for work.

11% were also moving for financial reasons, while just 6% stated it was because they were downsizing their home and 2% moved due to marriage.

Leaving our homes vs leaving our partners

With breakups accounting for such a large proportion of home moves, we also asked UK home sellers what they would describe as more upsetting:

  • Having to leave the home they loved, or
  • Having to break things off with their partner.

It would seem our love for bricks and mortar is stronger than we might think, with 57% of movers stating that having to leave the home they loved was more upsetting than the end of their relationship with their partner.

Graphic showing that 57% of movers find that leaving a property they loved is more upsetting than having to break up with a partner.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the UK property market this Valentine’s Day though. The good news is that despite the various reasons for moving house, just 25% of UK home sellers have been forced to move from a house they would have preferred to stay in.

More lockdown side-effects: Thoughts & analysis

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:

“There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, selling a house after a divorce is leading the way this year.

We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present, with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and selling your home when relocating for work.

For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low.

However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

"

Divorce and breakups the leading cause of home moves in 2021

We asked home sellers what the main reason was for their move and found that selling a house after a divorce or a relationship ending was the driving factor for 23% of people.

While the end of a relationship has always been one of the main factors behind home moves, and a particular driver of some owners trying to sell a house fast, Covid has likely caused this to increase. It’s believed that searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to Covid, with actual enquiries also spiking by 122%.

Other main drivers for moving home

Infographic with a pie chart showing the reasons for moving home. 23% due to divorce, 21% relocating for personal reasons, 19% upsizing, 11% relocating for work.

Selling your home when relocating was the cause of a home move for 21% of those asked.

More space had spurred a move for 19% who were upsizing, while 11% were relocating for work.

11% were also moving for financial reasons, while just 6% stated it was because they were downsizing their home and 2% moved due to marriage.

Leaving our homes vs leaving our partners

With breakups accounting for such a large proportion of home moves, we also asked UK home sellers what they would describe as more upsetting:

  • Having to leave the home they loved, or
  • Having to break things off with their partner.

It would seem our love for bricks and mortar is stronger than we might think, with 57% of movers stating that having to leave the home they loved was more upsetting than the end of their relationship with their partner.

Graphic showing that 57% of movers find that leaving a property they loved is more upsetting than having to break up with a partner.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the UK property market this Valentine’s Day though. The good news is that despite the various reasons for moving house, just 25% of UK home sellers have been forced to move from a house they would have preferred to stay in.

More lockdown side-effects: Thoughts & analysis

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:

“There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, selling a house after a divorce is leading the way this year.

We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present, with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and selling your home when relocating for work.

For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low.

However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

See data & sources

Survey of 1,077 UK home sellers carried out via Find Out Now (4th February 2021).

Data table showing responses for the question "What was the main reason you had to move?"
Data table showing responses for the question "Which would you describe as more upsetting?"
Data table showing responses for the question "Have you had to sell a property you loved and would have preferred to stay in?"


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