Driving (further) home for Christmas – Barratt David Wilson Homes customers travel six miles when moving house – up 37% since 2019


The long dark drive back to family homes for Christmas is a December tradition. This year though, that drive will be a little bit longer for recent home movers.

New research by the country’s largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, has found that people are moving further afield to find their dream home since the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2023, buyers of new Barratt and David Wilson Homes moved a median distance of 5.97 miles, an increase of 37% compared to 2019. Around 80% of customers moved fewer than 20 miles.

We also saw more people move to a new area entirely, with 62% of buyers moving to a new local authority area in 2023, up from 47% in 2019. The proportion of people moving to a different region of the country doubled from 14% before the pandemic to 28% this year.

This is largely driven by city dwellers looking for a place of their own – Londoners moved further than people from any other area of the country. This increase shows how much people are still valuing having more space and gardens after the pandemic – as well as a willingness to look further afield to find an affordable home.

Marc Woolfe, sales and marketing director at BDW North Thames, said: “We found that people are moving that bit further to get the home they want, meaning the Christmas drive home for some families will be longer this year. People are still valuing having more space even after the Covid pandemic, so are looking for bigger homes that are further away to help affordability.”

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