Majority of downsizers ‘dread’ the thought of selling their home

Over one in four home owners have experienced a sense of ‘sadness, grief or loss’ after moving house.

While over half have no regrets after moving, 83% of home owners feel emotionally attached to their properties, and 62% feel dread or nervousness at the thought of selling up – and this applies to all who are over 45.

Research conducted by conveyancing firm My Home Move services asked 1,000 home owners about their feelings relating to the property they own.

Doug Crawford, CEO of My Home Move said: “There has been talk across the market, for a number of years, regarding the lack of housing stock and the need for people to downsize to free up family-sized homes.

“But what hasn’t been discussed before is the emotional attachment people have to their homes.

“These buildings represent much more than bricks and mortar. They are the places where memories are made and as such, hold enormous emotional value.

“Through our findings we know that the thought of selling these homes for a significant percentage of home owners, especially among those who are in the ‘downsizer’ age category, bring a sense of dread – and as such, it is not surprising that they would rather stay put than face the emotional upheaval they envisage.”

In a separate My Home Move survey of UK estate agents, 75% feel there is not enough housing stock available to buy and 80% agreed that not enough people are downsizing to free up family homes.

However, the issue of ‘property attachment’ divided agents, with 39% believing it can affect home owners, while 46% disagree.


1. At the thought of selling your home, what is the first emotion that you feel?
Choice %
Dread 31.90%
Nervousness 30.00%
Excitement 18.10%
Indifference 13.30%
Happiness 4.80%
Other 1.90%


2. How emotionally attached would you say that you are to your home?
Choice %
Very emotionally attached 28.50%
Somewhat emotionally attached 54.50%
Not at all emotionally attached 17.00%


3. What is the one thing you value most about your current home?  
Choice %
The memories made there 34.00%
The location 21.50%
My garden 13.80%
Not applicable / Nothing in particular 7.20%
Vicinity to the countryside 5.10%
The décor/unique features of the home 3.60%
My neighbours 3.10%
Living room 2.30%
Other 2.10%
Vicinity to shops 1.90%
Kitchen 1.70%
Vicinity to work 1.70%
Bathroom 1.20%
Vicinity to parks 0.80%


4. Have you ever experienced a sense of ‘sadness’, ‘grief’ or ‘loss’ after moving home?  
Choice %
Yes 43.00%
No 51.10%
Not applicable / I have always lived in the same home 5.90%

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  1. Woodentop

    And what is the point of this research? “OK we know you are emotionally attached to your home, but get out”.

  2. Typhoon

    Come along Woodentop,if you are an agent, it’s great data to stimulate discussion with a potential downsized at valuation. I am going to us some of it in my training pack. Thank you Doug Crawford

    1. Woodentop

      Good point. Every valuation is emotional for the vendor and has always been one of the keys to getting the instruction.

  3. Property Paddy

    Q 5: Do you want to sell your house before

    The roof collapses ?

    The housing market collapses


    Another banking crisis

    Massive hike in interest rates

    Just thought it was worth mentioning


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