More Than One Third of Brits Move Home to Better Express Their Identities.

New research has revealed that more than one third (37%) of people move to a new home in an effort to better express and demonstrate their true identities

Of those questioned, 10% stated they are moving home to relocate to an area they feel better reflects them and who they are, 11% are moving to close the gap between their actual and ideal desired identity to improve perception of who they are, and 16% move home to demonstrate their success.

The new nationally representative study, which was undertaken by marketing communications agency Cogent, in partnership with Ragdoll Research, revealed that for most of the UK’s home movers, expression of self starts with creating the ideal bedroom. When questioned, 54% stated they will spend money on updating their bedroom interiors, ahead of any other room in their new property and this applies especially to those living in Wales. For home movers in the West Midlands, it is the living room that takes slight precedence when it comes to prioritising updates.

Of those who said they are moving to better express their identity, 50% revealed they are most likely to spend money on furniture for their new place above any other home-related purchase, including carpets and flooring, soft furnishings and garden supplies.

Cogent engaged with Professor Richard Crisp, The Head of the Department of Psychology at Durham University to delve deeper into the psychology behind why people move home. Professor Crisp said: “The findings from this study demonstrate how the home and its interiors play a vital part in peoples’ social identity expression. We all have social identities – affiliations that tell us who we are, like our gender, age, politics and sporting preferences. These identities are a strong motivator of purchasing behaviour, and as such home movers are likely to buy new belongings to express their identities via their surroundings and environment.”

“Psychology tells us this is important because the things we buy and the environment we create are a source of support and self-esteem.  Therefore, those moving home to better express their identity are likely to be very house proud, and indirectly, they’re likely be attracted to goods and services that support the identity they are trying to convey.”

This new research reveals the real motivations behind why people move home. This resulted in the Moving Minds report which is a study of more than 2,000 UK home movers (both buyers and renters), identifying eight ‘tribes’ and revealing the behavioural psychology behind their spending decisions.

Gareth Evans, Head of Moving Minds at Cogent said: “The study is a first-of-its-kind, linking behavioural psychology to attitudinal home mover motivation. According to figures from the Royal Mail, every year, around 11% of the UK’s adult population move home, and it’s an ‘inertia-buster’ that changes our spending behaviours dramatically. In the first 12 months after moving, we spend roughly the same on home improvements as we do in the five years that follow.”

“This equates to thousands spent by each mover on home improvements and move-related purchases in the year after moving. Around £16bn of UK consumer spend each year is attributed to people moving home* - this is a huge opportunity for brands in this space. This new deeper insight means we can understand our consumer audiences and their needs better than ever and unlock a disproportionate share of this £16bn”