Christmas is a time about family, coming together with friends and family, and spending time with the ones we love. It’s a season where we hope for a greater sense of belonging, where communities come together in celebration, through their decorations and events. A time when memories are made and traditions old and new are enjoyed, and most of all we long to be happy at home. What is it you seek when buying a new property that will truly ensure that you are happy at home this Christmas?
Recently, Rightmove, Britain’s well-loved property website, released the findings of their annual Happy at Home Index for 2021 which announced the happiest place to live in Great Britain. But it wasn’t the list of towns that caught our eye, more the findings in their research that were fascinating to read. Now in its tenth year, the Happy at Home Index asked over 21,000 people across Great Britain about their feelings about where they live and to rank ‘Happiness Measures’.
This has been a record-breaking year for house moves. At NEXA we have been continually surprised by the demand for properties and not just from people living locally. In fact, Rightmove predicts by the end of this year 1.5 million transactions will have taken place. But what the Happy at Home Index discovered is that of those people that have moved within the last 12 months, two-thirds have moved to a different area and are happier as a result.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “It’s been an incredibly busy year in the housing market, with a lot of people deciding that now is the right time to move. It is fascinating to see that people who moved in the last 12 months were more likely to be happy in their areas than those who did not. Whether it may be a couple looking for a small change in the same area, tenants looking for more space, or a family completely changing their lifestyle and moving from the city to the coast, this has been the year that people have really seized the opportunity to move, and turned ideas into action.”
The top vote for ‘Happiness Measure’ within the Happy at Home Index was a sense of belonging, and it is this that home buyers really need to tap into when looking for a new home. It doesn’t matter what kind of property you have if it is your dream home or not, if it isn’t in the right location will it really fulfill your needs and bring you complete happiness? A sense of belonging is so important to all of us, and it isn’t the big things, often, that turn a property into a home.
It can be as simple as a stranger saying good morning to you as you walk down the street or a quick chat with the manager of your local coffee shop. The enjoyment you get from being able to access green spaces easily and having people you know and love close by. When buying a house it is also good to concentrate on the things you can change and not on those you can’t. Not liking a property’s décor or furnishings should not be a deal-breaker, yes it may be costly to transform to your taste, but not as costly as buying the wrong house.
The pandemic is still seeing people making bolder and yet more certain decisions on where they would like to live. Our whole attitude has changed towards what we want out of a property and with working from home is the norm now for many, location can be a lot more flexible than it has ever been. Therefore, think about what you need from where you live: is it a place you can be yourself, are there green spaces close by, a coffee shop, bars to meet up with friends? A place to exercise, choices of music, artistic and cultural events, or whatever you love to do?
Jamie Gray, NEXA’s Group Managing Director suggests: “Buyers often start their search with a wish list completely focused on the property itself and locations based on areas they like without much thought on the realities of what it will be like to live there. We know that buyers who have thought first about where they want to live due to the lifestyle it provides often have a happier and more successful move.”
If you are looking for a new home this Christmas, make sure it provides you with a sense of belonging, a place where you would be Happy at Home. If you would like more advice or have any questions, give our team a call today so we can add some magic to your search. Well, it is the season where anything can happen!