Britain On The Move


Survey reveals top regions and cities for housing market optimism 

Research released today has revealed fresh insight into regional property trends across the UK*. Overall, people in southern areas are much more positive about their prospects of buying a house with 33% saying things are better, or much better, than a year ago. This figure drops to just 25% in the north, on average, and 24% in the east.

The cities with the most positive outlook are London (22% are better off), Bristol (22%) and Cardiff (20%), while the most pessimistic locations are Manchester (16% say things are worse than a year ago), Sheffield (12%) and Liverpool (12%).

The research – part of Saga Legal Services‘ second annual Britain on the Move Survey – also reveals some of the biggest frustrations experienced by people moving house. The cost was cited by 33% of people, rising to 42% in the East of England. Other items in the top ten include the legal process, dealing with estate agents, paying stamp duty, and gazumping. The latter is a particular problem in Wales, with one in five (20%) of people finding this to be a problem.

This year, the theme of the Britain on the Move Survey is “right-sizing” – the act of moving into a house that fits your circumstances and an issue particularly close to the heart of the over 50s. Nationally, 17% of Britons will move into a smaller property next time they move, with this figure rising to 25% in the north east, but falling to just 13% in London. The survey also showed the emotional impact of right-sizing, with the stress of paperwork (33%), moving somewhere unfamiliar (29%) and leaving behind memories (26%) cited as the biggest challenges.

Advising on this area, Saga Legal Services has released a free guide to right-sizing that offers advice on the practical, financial and emotional implications of moving home. With legal processes cited as the second most frustrating thing about moving house, Saga Legal Services has also released a guide to conveyancing that helps people to have a smoother move. The guide contains practical advice on choosing a conveyancer, how to keep costs down, and information on how the conveyancing process has changed over recent years.

Emma Myers, Head of Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning for Saga Legal Services says:

“It’s good to see that things are generally looking up in the housing market, but unsurprising that the cost of moving features so highly on the list of frustrations. Moving house can be a fraught experience at the best of times, but it’s disheartening to see that the conveyancing process is seen as such a burden, especially when it doesn’t have to be with the right provider. When choosing a conveyancer, it’s often best to look for one who agrees a fixed price up front, and who calculates the fee based on the amount of time it will take to complete, not on the value of the property.”

“Right-sizing is an issue that is close to the heart of many Saga customers, and it’s interesting to note that such a high percentage of people aged over 70 are looking to move house again.”

To download the Guide to Right-sizing, or the Smooth Moves Guide to Conveyancing, please visit