We may have the reputation of being a nation of grumblers, but what do we really think of our homes and the places where we live? Do we love them or hate them? And do we all think the same, from the young to the old? The rich to the poor?

Thankfully, those busy little bureaucrats down at the ONS (Office of National Statistics) have done a survey that tells us exactly what we think! And it makes for some interesting reading. So, let’s start with the areas in which we live. Do we really like them or are we just living there because it’s the best compromise we can afford? Surprisingly, it seems we may not be such a bunch of grumblers, after all, because 88% of us are at least reasonably satisfied with the location of our homes.

However, the biggest variation in overall contentedness is between the age groups. The least happy are those under 24 – although 82.9% are quite satisfied, just 46.7% are very satisfied. On the other hand 70.4% of those over 75 are likely to be very satisfied and a whopping 91.8% are at least fairly satisfied. It doesn’t make a lot of difference what sex we are, nor our income or ethnicity, which is good to know, because we do have a tendency to believe the lives of those richer than us are far better than our own. When it comes to dissatisfaction, however, money does count. 9.9% of those on the lowest incomes (£10,000 p.a. or less) are dissatisfied with their area compared to 3.8% for those earning over £50,000p.a. Ethnicity also appears to have an effect, but not a huge one. The average dissatisfaction levels for Caucasians are 6.5%, whereas the dissatisfaction rates for other ethnic groups are just in double figures.

And then there’s the question of whether the area we live in has got better or worse since we moved there? This time the roles are reversed, with the optimistic nature of the young shining through, because they have the highest percentage of people believing the area has improved (15.9%) and the lowest who thought the area had deteriorated (18.2%).

This compares to 24.6% of over 75 year olds who think the area is going down the plug hole and just 10.4% who believe it’s doing the opposite. The one thing most of us agree on is that it has stayed the same (+/- 65%) – and that’s across the board.

Then there’s our houses themselves. Surely we all want something a bit bigger, grander or maybe even just different? Well, I can tell you that, across all the age and ethnic groups, 89% of us are either satisfied or very satisfied with our accommodation. Now that doesn’t ring true when it comes to my household, because the size and location of the house is a regular topic of conversation. And, every time we get together with another family, they seem to be saying the same thing. However, that may be because we are relatively young and have children. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be pining for a new home. 75.3% of over 74 year olds are very satisfied, which is almost twice as many under 24 year olds (41.3%). But, it’s those households with children that are the least happy, because space is always at a premium – 8.2% are dissatisfied with their accommodation and 15.4% of single parents.

When the ONS combined our satisfaction levels for both housing and location, the average figure was 80.5%. Interestingly that figure has hardly changed in over 20 years, so the idea that our areas are going downhill may not be entirely accurate.

One thing’s for sure, though, Covid-19 has meant many homeowners are now looking for some more space. So, if you’d like a new home somewhere in Notting Hill all you need to do is give us a call.