Are you a victim of 7 year property itch?

Estate agentPA

We're a fickle bunch. We are happy to stay put for seven years, but after a while we want something different. We're bored of the same old, same old, so we pack up and move on. Apparently after seven years and four months we get a sudden urge to move house.

So why do we feel the sudden need to move, and is it so bad?

7 year itch

Research from Zoopla.co.uk found that the typical homeowner gets sick of the sight of their own four walls after seven years. The most popular reasons for wanting to move were boredom, property envy (women are twice as likely as men to covet a friend's property), irritation from the little things and noticing more attractive properties out there.

On a regional level, homeowners in the South West have the most stable property relationships and only develop the urge to look around after eight years on average, compared to those in Wales where the wandering eye sets in much sooner at six years and three months. Londoners fall squarely into the 'seven year itch' category, getting the urge to start looking around at seven years and two months.

Who starts it?

It doesn't sound a million miles away from the classic seven year itch that can break up relationships after the tricky seven year milestone. However, there's one big difference, when it comes to property, women are the worst culprits when it comes to itchy feet. Some 60% of them instigated the search when the seven year tolerance point kicked in.

Similarly to relationships, the internet is a handy tool for those with a wandering eye. Nick Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk said: "Property websites have made looking at what else is out there easier than ever and no doubt there are many supposedly happy homeowners secretly taking a quiet peak whilst their partner is none the wiser."

The risks

It's worth bearing in mind, however, that seven year itches - however they manifest themselves - are an expensive business. Leaving a partner is clearly a more expensive business. Divorce cleans the vast majority of people out. Once you sell a property at a knock-down price and spend an arm and a leg on lawyers, you are left wondering how you will ever afford another relationship.

Meanwhile the property itch will set you back more than £20,000, once you have paid for the estate agent, lawyers, mortgage fees and removals. Add in the fact that there's usually work to do on a new property, and you could waive goodbye to as much as £30,000.

So when we feel boredom setting in and start to look around at more attractive options it's worth thinking whether they really are that attractive - and whether they are worth the excessive sums of money they are certain to cost.

Average time before homeowners get the itch

1 South West England 8 years
2 Yorkshire and The Humber 7 years 11 months
3 North East England 7 years 10 months
4 East Midlands 7 years 9 months
5 North West England 7 years 7 months
6 East of England, Scotland, West Midlands 7 years 5 months
7 London 7 years 2 months
8 South East England 6 years 9 months
9. Wales 6 years 3 months.
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