UK homeowners create homes for life
Published on 06 September 2012 12:30 AM
Research from Age UK shows homeowners are opting for home improvements rather than moving home*
- The average person has lived in six homes over their lifetime
- More than three quarters (77%) of UK adults are happy in their current home
- The average total amount spent on home improvements over a lifetime is more than £23,000 per household
Moving home is out; renovating, adapting, and improving our homes is in - according to new research out today from Age UK. Defying the uncertainty in the property market, homeowners are opting to make their homes right for their current and future life stages - rather than moving on when their needs change.
The average person has lived in six properties during their life so far, and the average time spent in each home is 12 years according to the new study. More than three quarters (77%) of UK adults are happy in their current home.
Creating a home for life
Rather than moving home, almost a third of homeowners (29%) see their current home as one for life, with households spending £23,000 on average on home improvements over a lifetime. This could be redecorating various rooms, building an extension or adapting a home to include items such as handrails or a stair lift.
The main reasons for UK homeowners aged 18+ to make changes to their homes are:
• A quarter (24%) have adapted their homes to help boost value;
• 16% have made the changes to help accommodate a growing family;
• 6% to make it more accessible as homeowners get older;
• 6% to change it once children have left home;
• And 4% to accommodate a disability.
The research was conducted to coincide with the launch of Age UK's new Living Your Way campaign, which takes place in September and aims to help people stay independent and well in their homes for longer, through information, advice, practical services and specially designed products. Age UK is also calling on the Government to make it compulsory for all new-build homes to be built to the Lifetime Home Standard** so that buyers can enjoy later life in their home for as long as possible.
Commenting on the research, Lucy Harmer, Head of Information and Advice at Age UK, said: 'This research shows that people are taking a long-term view of their property and implementing steps to ensure that homes will be suitable in years to come. Whatever life stage people are at, home really does seem to be where the heart is and being able to adapt a property can make a positive impact on quality of life as we grow older.
'While downsizing or moving home can be a beneficial option for some, there are lots of simpler ways to adapt to changing situations too - that could be anything from adapting rooms when children leave home, re-painting walls or fitting age-friendly door knobs throughout the home to accommodate changing needs. A few simple adaptations can help a person to stay in their home for longer.
'Before embarking on any major adaptations, people should speak to their local authority to see if they're entitled to any financial help or other sources of assistance.'
Choosing the way we live is important to us all, but as we grow older circumstances can make it harder to enjoy the life we want. So whether it's impartial advice on your housing options or ways to stay independent for longer; practical information about handrails, stairlifts or other adaptations; a helping hand around the home; or friendly local support for a loved one with decreasing mobility - Age UK and its local and national partners are here to help. To find out more about what Age UK can do for you and for a free ‘Living Your Way' and ‘Adapting Your Home' guide, call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 65 65 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/livingyourway where you can also enter our free prize draw to win Age UK home products.
For further information, case studies and spokespeople, please contact Emma Russell (tel: 0207 009 3145) or Gillian Stark (tel: 0207 009 3151) at 3 Monkeys Communications or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Notes to editors
*All statistics should be accredited to the research, which polled a total of 2,000 UK adults online in August 2012. The research was carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Age UK.
**Age UK is calling on the government to make it compulsory for all new build homes to be built to Lifetime Home Standard as developed by JRF and Habinteg so that everyone can enjoy later life in their home for as long as possible. For more information on Age UK's stance click here.
For information about volunteering with Age UK and how you can help to improve England's failing care system, or to make a donation, call 0800 169 87 87 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk.
For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.
About Age UK:
Age UK, the force dedicated to improving later life provides free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and wellbeing, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).