Housing and Living 2021
This report, informed by primary research, conducted by Core Research, outlines the satisfaction the public has with their area, their home, and their communities.
Published in September 2021, it looks at how Home Owners, Mortgage Holders, and Renters feel about their current living situation, both inside and outside of their home.
The Modern Renter
Since 2006, there has been an increase in households who are renting, a decrease in those who have a mortgage, while the proportion of people who own their home has remained consistent. The average age of a renter has been getting older, as the lack of housing to purchase keeps a growing generation renting. Despite the stereotype that renters are exclusively young single adults, according to our survey, 46% of renters are aged 35–54-year-olds and 55% are couples with and without children.
With this is mind, Renters are no longer short-term tenants and, as a result, they are no longer only interested in small and short-term items. Instead, Renters are looking further ahead to the medium-term and want big ticket items that improve their homes. Similar to Mortgage Holders, Renters want to upgrade items like a bed, storage solutions, and living room and kitchen furniture. In the home, don’t ignore renters and assume there isn’t an appetite for big ticket (medium or long-term) items.
Across all household types, there is currently a high level of satisfaction with their area and their home. Two in three renters say they are satisfied with the area where they live and over half (56%) say they are satisfied with the home itself – this is lower compared to the total population. This suggests that renters are happy with their surrounding area but fewer are pleased with their home than other household types.
Most of us are happy where we live
The stay home and stay local messages during the COVID-19 pandemic were embraced and as people spent more time in their local areas, 38% say that COVID-19 has changed their perceptions of their area. As a result of the pandemic, there was a higher proportion of people satisfied with their area (25%) and home (27%), compared to those that said they were less satisfied with their area (11%) and home (10%).
Lockdowns and restrictions have led to increased importance being placed on public spaces and local communities and these are the categories people feel have experienced a positive change. One in three adults feel that the upkeep of public parks, the sense of community and the cleanliness of their area have changed for the better in the last two years. These are also the main drivers or satisfaction, with satisfaction with the sense of safety (74%), cleanliness (70%) and nice public places (69%) all categories where people are most satisfied.
However, people feel issues relating to traffic (28%), jobs (23%), banking services (25%) and anti- social behaviour (27%) have all changed for the worse in the last two years and adults would now like to experience more from the area where they live as we begin to relax restrictions, with a lively town centre (46%), a cinema (43%) and a theatre and music venue (33%) the categories where adults are currently less satisfied.
As society begins to reopen, the challenge for retail and recreation is to learn from the increased interaction and satisfaction with public space and offer places of comfort, security, and fun.