Moving house is more stressful than getting a divorce, research shows

According to homeowners, moving house is one of the most traumatic life events you can face

Millennials struggling to get out of rental trap and buy their own homes
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Life is full of its ups and downs, and we often can't avoid those challenges that get thrown at us. Certain life events – births, deaths, divorces – can be trickier than others to deal with, and certainly take their toll on us both mentally and physically. So it may (or may not) surprise you to know that one of the most stressful life events is moving house.

In a poll of 2,000 UK homeowners, 40 per cent voted the process of moving house as the most nerve-wracking life event, more so than getting a divorce (34 per cent), having a baby (31 per cent) or starting a new job (27 per cent).

Amongst home movers, nearly two-thirds said they had to deal with sleep deprivation during their move. Anxiety was also a common symptom of move-related stress, with 34 per cent claiming to have suffered with it, while depression and physical illness were also recorded by a huge 40 per cent of movers.

The pressures of moving house don’t go unnoticed, as 60 per cent say they’ve even been put off looking for a new home because of the stress.

The research, conducted by Yopa, researched the stress points when moving home, with the cost of the process unsurprisingly voted as the worst, most stressful part of moving house by over half of the homeowners questioned. The average cost of the move, not including the house, but including legal and estate agents’ fees, was in total £6,600. The research also revealed other factors that may deter people from buying:

  • High crime rates – 53 per cent
  • Noisy neighbours – 47 per cent
  • Too much traffic – 41 per cent
  • Bad smells – 41 per cent
  • Lots of litter – 38 per cent
  • High council tax – 38 per cent
  • Lack of good parking – 38 per cent
  • High pollution/smog – 37 per cent
  • The homes are too small – 35 per cent
  • Being under a flight path – 33 per cent

So what would make moving home easier? For the homeowners surveyed, lower estate agents fees came top (42 per cent), followed by more transparency (37 per cent) and a free utility switching service (34 per cent). 

However, despite the stress, 62 per cent of Brits believe moving house could ultimately make them happier and 82 per cent admit they often spend time looking in estate agent's windows, dreaming of finding their ideal home.

Ben Poynter, CEO of Yopa, says, 'This is the first piece of in-depth research into the state of homeowner attitudes to moving in more than three years – especially timely, considering current political and financial uncertainties. Our survey proves that moving home can really take it out of you, with more than a third of people left feeling anxious by the whole process.'