Britain’s homebuyers crave peace of mind to combat increasing stress of modern life

27 Feb, 2024

Britain’s homebuyers crave peace of mind to combat increasing stress of modern life

  • 86% of the nation feels life has become more stressful in the last 20 years with 85% saying rent, home maintenance and food costs drive up stress levels.
  • 40% of people now believe getting on the property ladder to be a difficult task, increasing to 56% among 18- to 34-year-olds.
  • 75% of people feel that lower household costs would make life easier. This rises to 83% among 25- to 44-year-olds.
  • 42% say lower energy bills would make moving home less stressful and 54% say the peace of mind of new build warranties would help.

The vast majority the nation believes life has become more stressful over the past 20 years with 50% of us thrown off guard by an unexpected event in the last year and almost half of us (46%) struggling to find ways to make life easier.

New research published by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) shows that rising living costs are impacting the nation’s wellbeing, with 85% of those who said life has become more stressful agreeing that rising costs such as rent, home maintenance and food costs are a significant factor. This proportion rises to 90% among 25-to-34-year-olds, who are worst affected by high rents and housing costs.

Coinciding with New Homes Week, an annual campaign promoting the benefits of purchasing new build homes, the ‘Seamless Transitions’ report explores public perceptions of moving home, new build homes, and overall wellbeing.

It finds that the majority of people consider moving home to be one of the most difficult events in life (60%). Contributing factors include concerns about uncovering nasty surprises in an older property (57%), worry about the chain collapsing (57%), the cost of moving (50%) and the stress of managing a sale (43%).

New build homes have many benefits that can help to alleviate the perceived complexities of moving home and housing costs – including chain-free buying, increased consumer protection such as consumer codes and 10-year structural warranties, and private sector schemes to make new build ownership more affordable.

Furthermore, with many respondents saying lower energy bills would make moving home easier, figures released by HBF in January show that new build homes also cut energy bills by up to £184 a month. In addition to reducing annual running costs by up to £2,200, new build homeowners are also helping to reduce carbon emissions by 61% compared to older properties.

The findings come as home ownership rates among younger generations are plummeting. The proportion of households owning their own home has now fallen to 64.8%, from a peak of 70.9% in 2003.5 whilst the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds owning their own home has fallen from 58.6% in 2003-4 to 44.7% in 2022-36.

The closure of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme in England last March, means it is the first time in decades that no first-time buyer support scheme has been in place, at a time when it is arguably needed most. Perhaps reflective of this, 50% of respondents admitted feeling thrown off guard by an unexpected life event in the last year – increasing to around 60% of 18 to 34s.

Whilst there are some signs starting to emerge that the market is beginning to pick up, mortgage availability remains a challenge and there are growing calls for lenders to acknowledge the cost savings of energy efficient new build homes.

With the country already facing an acute national housing shortage, the lack of purchasers is also a major reason as to why housing supply is falling.

To address these barriers to home ownership the younger generations face, the report calls for a new, targeted home ownership scheme for first-time buyers to provide a realistic mortgage option for those able to afford to buy a home. It also proposes Government remove Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for those buying homes rated EPC B or above to incentivise consumers to choose energy efficient homes.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “With the supply of new homes falling and a lack of affordable mortgage availability getting on the property ladder is considerably more difficult now than it has been in recent years.

“Having somewhere safe and comfortable to live is something all young people understandably aspire to. Action must be taken to create a climate within which we can build enough modern, energy-efficient homes to meet our national need and provide affordable mortgage options for those who want to buy.

“Consumers are increasingly recognising the benefits of purchasing an energy efficient new build, freeing them from the hassle of renovation work and the high running costs that can come with older homes, so they can get on with living.”

Olivia Bowen, interiors influencer and New Homes Week ambassador says: “Modern life is increasingly stressful so we’re all looking for ways to make things easier and give us more time to do the things we enjoy. Moving home is at the very top of the list of stressful events in our life, but there are options available that make things easier.

“Whether you are becoming a homeowner for the first time or looking for a fresh start, choosing a new build home can help to alleviate many of the stresses that come with moving.

“The moving process is slicker because you have professionals there to guide you every step of the way. And you are starting with a brand new, blank canvas, untouched by a previous owner.

“The amount of work, money and stress that goes into renovating an older property is often overlooked. With a new build you get that fresh start without all the added headache, hassle and cost that comes with a doer upper.

“Plus, as new homes are so energy efficient, you could save hundreds every year on running costs.”

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For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, contact HBF’s communications team at

Notes to editors

  1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the principal representative body for private sector home builders and voice of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from widely-recognised national firms, through regionally based businesses and small local companies:
  2. Seamless Transitions report is based on the findings of a consumer survey of 2,090 individuals aged 18+, carried out in December 2023.

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