How long should you stay in a home before moving? And how long have you lived in your property?

Zoopla reveals all!

Growing up, most of us probably lived in two or three homes. Our parents moved for jobs, to bigger and better homes or to be closer to family. However, now all-grown-up and settled into a home of your own it might have crossed your mind when you should I move house?

Related: The cost of moving house – and how you can make savings

When should I move house?

red brick house with small garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

While there is no definitive ideal length of time to stay in one home, according to research by Zoopla, British homeowners move on average once every 21 years. House prices play a big role in how long people chose to stay in a property. Homeowners were found to move less often in areas where house prices were higher.

Kensington and Chelsea in London came top with the least frequent movers, who on average stayed in their properties for 35.5 years. Outside of London, Oxford had the least frequent movers, with people staying in their homes for an average of 31.2 years. In contrast, Dartford and South Derbyshire had the homeowners who stayed for the least amount of time. People chose to remain in their homes for an average of just 15 years.

kitchen with white wall and cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Overall, the East Midlands were found to have people moving homes most often. They were found to change properties on average once every 17.9 years. Scotland took second place with homeowners opting to sell up every 18.7 years.

‘These results contradict a common assumption that UK neighbourhoods are becoming more transient,’ says Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla. 'If anything, they show that, once you’ve managed to buy a property to call home and set down roots in an area, there can be little motivation to move again.'

living room with grey sofa cushions coffee table and round mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

‘However, this is not necessarily down to complacency or a sense of inertia. While we might love our city, town or village, most of us still want to "improve our lot" with a move, which usually means climbing the property ladder. But house prices have risen exponentially in the last two decades and many people are unwilling for unable to take on the cost of the ‘next rung up,’ she adds.

Related: This is how long it will actually take you to sell a house

In reality, there is no ideal time to stay in one home. After all, it's hard to predict where life will take you, You may need to relocate for a new job or to be closer to loved ones, or stay put for your kid’s school. but if you find your self asking 'when should I move house?', the answer is, do what works for you.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.