Revealed! How often the average Brit moves house

Zoopla's new poll also reveals the area with the most frequent movers

Moving house is the ultimate double-edged sword. Sure, you get to enjoy new surroundings, perhaps a bigger space, and all the excitement that comes with making your home your own. But to get that point, there's the months of admin, weeks of packing and several sleepless nights wondering if you've done the right thing.

Nevertheless, we were surprised to learn the average Brit moves home every 23 years. That's according to a Zoopla and Hometrack poll published today. Is it just us, or does that seem a long time to you?

green car with white pillars and trees

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Spike Powell)

It's certainly a long time for the people of Midlothian, Scotland, who have been crowned Britain’s most regular movers. Homes in the Scottish county change hands every 15 years. By contrast, the residents of Powys in North Wales up sticks to new digs only every 33 years, making them the most likely in the country to stay put.

Back in 1988, as similar poll revealed a completely different story, with the average Brit moving every 8.63 years. But following the 1990s recession and more recent financial crisis, coupled with soaring house prices, it seems that we're – in the words of Phil Spencer – more likely to love it than list it.

After Midlothian, Dartford in Kent is home to the most regular movers. The average person in the South East town changes properties every 16.5 years.

In London, Tower Hamlets has the highest moving rate, with homes changing hands every 15.9 years on average. This is followed by Greenwich, where people move every 19.7 years, and Southwark (every 21.1 years). The capital's most expensive and arguably most prestigious borough, Kensington and Chelsea, has the most loyal residents. They only move every 38.1 years.

'It’s interesting to see where in Britain property is changing hands more frequently, with home movement in an area typically indicating a liquid property market,' says Zoopla's Lawrence Hall. 'Regions with a shorter time between house moves could offer better affordability than those areas where properties change hands less regularly.

'In Kettering, for example, the average property is currently valued at £223,041. That's £84,000 (37.73 per cent) less than the UK average.

Dartford's high placing doesn't surprise Lawrence, either. 'It features highly on our frequent movers list and has recently seen the completion of a £90 million development,' he reveals. 'That surge in new-build availability and local investment could be a contributing factor.'

'In contrast, regions where properties change hands less often can suggest a lower level of demand, or less housing stock – particularly in rural areas. Oxford – home to the second lest frequent movers – is a slight exception to this rule. Slow property turnover in this famous city is most likely a result of both a scarcity of available properties and also a lack of affordability in the local property market.'

calender on table and plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alun Callender)

Want to know where your region features on the list?

Most frequent movers by region

1. Midlothian – 14.9 years between moves
2. Dartford – 16.5 years between moves
3. Edinburgh (City) – 16.6 years between moves
4. Kettering – 16.8 years between moves
5. Glasgow (City) – 16.8 years between moves
6. East Northamptonshire – 17.0 years between moves
7. Renfrewshire – 17.3 years between moves
8. Taunton Deane – 17.3 years between moves
9. Corby – 17.4 years between moves
10. Aylesbury Vale – 17.4 years between moves

Least likely to move by region

1. Powys  33.1 years between moves
2. Oxford 31.6 years between moves
3. Gwynedd – 31.2 years between moves
4. Blackpool – 31.1 years between moves
5. Pembrokeshire – 31.0 years between moves
6. Kingston-upon-Hull – 30.8 years between moves
7. Wrexham – 30.0 years between moves
8. Blackburn with Darwen – 29.7 years between moves
9. Isle of Anglesey – 29.7 years between moves
10. Denbighshire – 29.5 years between moves

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.