Lancaster’s Restless Homeowners |  The 5 Year 36 Week Itch in the Lancaster Housing Market 

How often do people move? I know people who have moved every few years and people like my Mum who have lived in their homes for 50 years plus.

Over the last six years, 76,669 UK properties have sold each month, meaning the average British homeowner moves every 16 years and 7 months. 

This data disproves a standard theory that British neighbourhoods are becoming more fleeting and transitory. On the face of it, they show that once you have bought a property you can call home, there isn’t much motivation to move again.  So, are fewer people moving home?  

While we might love our home in Lancaster, many people still want to ‘better themselves’ with a bigger house, better area, etc, which typically requires us to climb the Lancaster property ladder.   Yet, with Lancaster house prices having risen by 321% since 1995, the cost of going up the next rung on the Lancaster property ladder is prohibitive for many.

Back in the 1980’s when the housing market was booming, the typical British homeowner moved every 8-9 years. The average is now just over 16 years which means each British homeowner moves just 3 times in the adult home ownership lifetime.

We have all heard the phrase, “lies, damn lies and statistics”.  so we wanted to look at this closer.

Did you know? The average length of time a homeowner without a mortgage moves home is 23 years and 3 months. Yet, British homeowners (with a mortgage) move on average every 9 years and 11 weeks.

We looked at the last 40 property sales in Lancaster and found some interesting findings.  

The average Lancaster homeowner moves on average every 13 years and 10 weeks. 

Remember, the UK average is every 16 years and 7 months. Yet it gets fascinating when we delve deeper into that stat.  There seems to be a two-speed (even three-speed) Lancaster property market (remember in the title I said 5 years and 36 weeks). 

To start, having looked at the last 40 Lancaster property sales I then put them in order of how long they had been in that home before they moved, with the fastest first and slowest at the end.  

When we look at the 25% quickest home movers in Lancaster (i.e. 1st to 10th) and then the next slice (the 11th to 20th quickest movers) … these Lancaster home movers are moving home really fast, yet the gap for the successive two slices broadens remarkably, (i.e. the slowest movers). See for yourself! 

  • The quickest 25% of Lancaster home movers (i.e. 1st to 10th) moves every 3 years & 26 weeks – that’s a quick move! 
  • The next fastest quartile (i.e. 11th to 20th) of Lancaster home movers moves every 7 years & 46 weeks. 
  • The following 25% quickest quartile (i.e. 21st to 30th) of Lancaster home movers moves every 16 years & 46 weeks. 
  • Finally, the 25% slowest quartile (i.e. 31st to 40th) of Lancaster home movers only moves every 24 years & 26 weeks. 

Looking at the top 50% of the quickest movers, half of Lancaster homeowners move home again within 5 years and 36 weeks. 

When looking at the properties that fall into the later bands (i.e. the ones that don’t move/sell so often), they tend to be the larger properties where the homeowners have lived for 30 years plus.  

We all should learn that once people get into their 50s and 60s, their tendency to move home drops significantly. This means the properties on the lower rungs of the Lancaster property ladder sell more often (as younger homeowners occupy them). Yet, once Lancaster homeowners get older, their inclination to move home diminishes. This obstructs the younger Lancaster generation wanting to buy the bigger Lancaster homes these mature homeowners live in. 

What is stopping the older generation homeowners from selling and downsizing to free up family homes for families that desperately need them? Some of it will be apathy, some will hold on to the homes they brought their families up in, or there might be another reason.  Often it comes down to not finding the right home to move to., after Lancaster has a big shortage of bungalows. We really do need to build more for our ageing population.

If you are a mature Lancaster homeowner and want to chat about downsizing – or even rightsizing as I now call it, please get in touch. At JDG we are here to help and might just be able to help you find your next place to settle and call home.

Please call me on 01524 843322 or email me at

Thanks for reading