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Location, location, location: New data sheds light on movers’ priorities

Thursday 9 May 2019 Data Insight & AnalyticsDemographic DataProperty Development

John Platt's picture
By John Platt

As competition and uncertainty in the housing market increases, developers are using sophisticated data to make more informed decisions about what to build where.

Experience and instinct are a good start. But the right data can help you go further. You can pinpoint the next locations that will be in demand – and exactly who will move there. 

That’s important because – as we’ll see in a moment – a small variation in something as simple as a home-mover’s age can make all the difference to what they want. A successful development depends on having the right location and the right people in mind.

Understand your buyer – before you build

At CACI, we carried out a nationwide study of recent house movers to uncover fresh insights into which factors affected their choice of location.

Those factors changed dramatically by age group – making it essential to match the location to the building design.

You can see the full results in our Understanding House Movers infographic, but here’s a summary of what we found.

Different ages, different priorities

When you’re deciding which house movers will consider an area, their age is a primary factor. A five or ten-year difference can have a dramatic impact on a location’s appeal.

For example, the data shows proximity to work is a priority for movers in their twenties. Younger people – who are typically lower-paid – want to ensure they’re not spending more time commuting, impacting their lifestyle, than they need to.

As they progress to their late twenties and early thirties, proximity to public transport becomes more of an important factor. Good road links become more significant from the mid-thirties, as families require their own transport.

For their late twenties and early thirties, proximity to public transport is more of an important factor

Similarly, our research highlights how the influence of good local school’s peaks sharply for movers in their late thirties and early forties – but it’s not a priority for anyone else.
By contrast, movers near to retirement age are influenced by an area’s overall quality, its green space, and local places to eat, drink and shop – reflecting their increasing disposable income an free time.

The importance of the familiar

Perhaps surprisingly, the data shows distance from family members is a significant factor almost across the board. And while this isn’t always true for younger people focused on developing their careers, those from their late 20s onwards appreciate a local support network – limiting the distance they’re likely to travel when moving.

Likewise, the results reveal that – aside from the youngest home-movers – people generally prefer to be familiar with the area they’re moving to.

These are perhaps two reasons why the home movers surveyed hadn’t tended to move far from their previous residence – just a 47-minute drive, on average. The most settled population is in the South West, where people stay in the same home for an average of nine years.

On average people move 47 minutes from their previous residence

The location decides the age; the age decides the house

A house-mover’s age determines what they look for in a location, and a home. So once you use the data to understand who is likely to move to an area, you can then use that information to tailor the format of your development.

And you can find out exactly how someone’s age influences what they want from their home’s amenities, building type and outside space, in the House Mover infographic.

As one of the UK’s the largest independent property consultancies we have spent decades helping developers and land agents tailor their strategies based on hard data.

To discover how CACI can help you make better decisions, win investor buy-in, and show local planners proven demand, get in touch with our team of experts.


CACI’s new, national survey has revealed what influences where households look when moving home. And it has some significant implications for developers.

Location, location, location: New data sheds light on movers’ priorities