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Jealous homeowners sell up to better their friends

Tuesday 08 May 2018

According to a new study, one in eight Brits are so envious of their friends and family's homes that they’re opting to sell up and buy a new one.

As part of ongoing research into the home lives of UK adults, home interiors specialist Hillarys quizzed 2,408 adults aged 18 and over - all of whom stated they own their own home with their spouse - on their attitudes towards their home versus the homes of others.

The survey found some 71 per cent of respondents were envious of the interior decoration and possessions of their friends and family, with a fifth of those admitting to doing nothing to change their own home situation.

All respondents were at first asked: “Are you happy with the way your home currently looks?”, with the top responses to this query being “I am, but it's a work in progress” (42 per cent), closely followed by “yes, it's exactly how I want it” (35 per cent). For 23 per cent, though, the reply was “no, it needs a lot of work”.

Despite a fairly large number stating that their home was a work in progress or needed a lot of work, when respondents were asked if they were currently undertaking any work to improve their property, just one fifth (21 per cent) said they were. When asked what it was that was holding them up, respondents cited ‘a lack of money’ (46 per cent) and ‘a lack of inspiration’ (29 per cent) as their top reasons for stalling.

The most common reactions to being envious of other people’s homes were: making a start on renovations/decorating (38 per cent), a quarter said looking at other houses on the market, 23 per cent cited decluttering, and 17 per cent said starting the spring cleaning. For a fifth of people though, there was no particular reason why they were envious of other people's home – they just were.

For one in eight of those who stated that they were envious of others’ homes, house envy persuaded them to take the decisive step of selling their home and buying a new one. In fact, they began the process of selling up and purchasing a new pad within just six months of comparing their property to others.

When asked what they specifically looked for in a new home the main responses were ‘more bedrooms’ (26 per cent), ‘a larger living space’ (24 per cent) and ‘a lower maintenance home’ (20 per cent).

Tara Hall, spokesperson for Hillarys, said: “Some people enjoy making their homes perfect for the way they live – there’s plenty of inspiration out there that they actively look for. For others, it’s not so easy to know what they want or where to get the ideas. Rather than feeling jealous, they could speak to their friends and family members and come up with ideas together.”