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Homeowners regrets – not buying bigger tops list

Survey finds more renters have regrets about their property than buyers

June 4, 2013

A recent survey by US Trulia has found that “not choosing a larger home”  is the biggest regret of homeowners. By contrast 4 out of 10 renters surveyed said that their biggest regret was having rented rather than bought. Other major regrets for homebuyers included “doing too little remodeling when they bought”, “not having more information before buying”, and “not having more money to put down for a deposit”. Perhaps surprisingly only 16% of respondents said “not waiting until more financially secure” as their main regret.

With the smallest homes in Europe it should come as no shock to discover homeowners crave more living space. The problem is especially acute where the housing crisis is most acute – the South East. Here there is a  significant dearth of family homes with many priced out of anything larger than two-bed flats.

The survey also neatly reflected the winners and losers of recent booms and busts. Trulia found that younger people were much more likely to have regrets than the baby boomer generation. Among respondents 18 to 34 years old, 75% of homeowners and 65% of renters have regrets. That declines to 66% of homeowners and 62% of renters ages 35 to 44; an equal 53% of homeowners and renters among those 45 to 54; and 36% of homeowners and 31% of renters among those 55 and older. Unfortunately this is a predictable result when so many younger people who bought during the peak years of the house price bubble are now in negative equity.