When was the last time you moved house? How often does everyone else do it? And does that mean you are mister or missus average, or are you forging your own path?

Our relationship with our homes is changing. In the wake of the crash of 2008, we have seen the rise of Generation Rent. Home ownership has fallen from 70.9% in 2003 to 63.3% and is now way below the EU average of 70%. And, although around 1,200,000 UK residential properties change hands each year, the fact is that we are moving far less frequently. Over the last thirty years the turnover in housing stock has slumped from 12% to 4.5% (source: Intermediary Mortgage lenders).

These days, over our lifetimes, the average person moves home 8 times, with a quarter of us moving up to 10 times. We only own 3.2 of these homes, because the figures include parental and rented accommodation. Naturally, we tend to move more often when we are younger, until we settle into a ‘forever’ family home.

It means our typical home lives now look something like this: as a child, we are likely to live in one or two different family houses. The high cost of accommodation means we leave home far more slowly than we used to, but from 18 onwards we begin flying the nest. Mostly, our first taste of freedom is in a rental property and we will probably live in 3 or 4 rented homes before we buy. During this period we are likely to meet our life partner (average age 27) and some of us will get married (age 32 for men and 30 for women). When we hit 37 we buy our first property, which will be a flat costing approximately £177,601 (considerably more for Londoners).

In order to save enough money for a deposit, a number of us may have to move back home for a while – 3.3 million 20-34 year olds are said to be currently living at their family homes (source: ONS). In addition, by this time, there may be babies involved too, because most babies are born to mothers between the ages of 30 and 34. This is some time before we buy our first property, so it is unsurprising to find that a number of women are having children much later. Conception rates between 35 and 39 year olds have doubled since 1990 and women graduates now tend to have their first child aged 35.

With the UK birth rate hovering around 1.9 per couple, there is a good chance there will be even more children involved by the time we hit 41 and, rapidly running out of space, this is when we take the plunge and trade up to a 3 bedroom, terraced house. Many of us will move once or twice in the interim period, most often as a result of a change of employment, divorce/separation or either improving or deteriorating finances. By the time we are 60, the nest is empty (but not always) and we begin to consider downsizing. At this point in our lives, we no longer need the space. We want to reduce our overheads and perhaps give some money to our offspring to help them get on the housing ladder. The optimum time for downsizing is reputed to be 64, when many of us will trade in our 3 bedroom terrace for a bungalow or maybe a cheaper property by the sea.

Since it takes 25 years to pay off the mortgage, the bulk of us will finally pay it off when we are 67. We will then have 14 years free from the tyranny of those nasty monthly payments before we pass on to the next world, aged 81, and our homes go back on the market for the final time.

Whatever your stage in life, whether you’re trading up or down or just wanting to move on, we at Homesite can help you find the perfect home in: