- Just 42% of homeowners feel their current home lives up to expectations of what they thought they would purchase
- The pantry and dining room have disappeared from today’s homes, but more homeowners have a study
- Average value of UK living room is £5,031, as homes become more cluttered
The latest Britain at Home report from Lloyds Bank Insurance reveals fewer than half (41%) of homeowners feel their current property lives up to their expectations. Of those who feel less attached, the top reasons were that it wasn’t a ‘dream home’ (43%), a family home (29%) or in their desired area (26%).
The research of 2,000 UK homeowners explores the relationship this group has with their current properties, compared to the homes in which they grew up.
As a fifth (22%) of homeowners say that their family spends less time together at home now than when they were growing up in their main childhood home, this detachment could be part of a wider lifestyle shift.
Professor Barrie Gunter, author of Psychology of the Home said: “Our first or main childhood home plays an integral role in the development of our personal identities. These initial childhood experiences can become deeply imprinted into our psyche, and if they were happy ones, we often seek to recreate them as adults when we move into our own property. However, modern pressures can occasionally get in the way.”
Today’s homes have adapted to accommodate changing family dynamics, work and life patterns, with almost a third (31%) of homeowners saying that working from home is more common in their household today than when they were youngsters. The report showed over a quarter (28%) now have a home office whereas they did not in their main childhood home, compared to just 7% who had one in their childhood home but not in their current home.
Fading traditional features which homeowners used to have in their childhood home but don’t today include the pantry (48%) and the cellar (13%) as homes become more open-plan and multi-purpose.
Over a quarter (28%) say their home is used more for entertaining people now and a fifth (20%) say that the media – including TV property programmes and magazines – has had more influence on their properties today, as DIY becomes a greater priority. Two fifths (41%) claim they spend more time on home improvement than their parents did.
Professor Gunter added: “A home only becomes a home when it reflects who we are as a person. How we decorate our homes reveals deeper aspects of our personalities, with influences coming from different parts of our lives. For example, if we have fond childhood memories of hiding in the attic, we might seek a property with a similar space for our own family.
“Equally, a desire to preserve our privacy even in a shared and cluttered family home might lead us to create a space which is ours – a den, a study, a garden shed, or even our own walk-in wardrobe.”
Modern households are more cluttered than they were in the past, according to 60% of homeowners who say they have more contents now compared to their childhood home.
The study found that the living room is now the most valuable in the home with contents worth a total of £5,031 on average. The most popular household items are flat screen TVs, owned by 86% of homeowners, followed by kitchen appliances including coffee machines (42%) and bread makers (30%).
Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds Bank Insurance, said: “Over the years we all invest a great deal of time and money in our homes as they evolve to fit our lifestyles and priorities. While the emotional connection cannot be valued, safeguarding what you have put into your home by having the right insurance policy will help prevent against losing what could take a lifetime to replace.”