Breakups drive home moves and sellers are more upset about leaving their property than their partner

Katie Court
Authored by Katie Court
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 - 11:54

Research by home buying platform, Yes Homebuyers, has revealed the driving factors behind those having to move home and which hurts the most, breaking up with our partner or our property.

While the end of a relationship has always been one of the main factors behind home moves, Covid has likely caused this to increase. It’s believed that searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to Covid, with actual enquiries also spiking by 122%.

Relocating for other personal reasons was the cause of a home move for 21% of those asked.

More space had spurred a move for 19% who were upsizing, while 11% were relocating for work.

11% were also moving for financial reasons, while just 6% stated it was because they were downsizing to a smaller home and 2% moved due to marriage.

With breakups accounting for such a large proportion of home moves, Yes Homebuyers also asked UK home sellers what they would describe as more upsetting, having to leave the home they loved or having to break things off with their partner.

It would seem our love for bricks and mortar is stronger than we might think, with 57% of people stating that having to leave the home they loved was more upsetting than the end of their relationship with their partner.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the UK property market this Valentine’s Day though. The good news is that despite the various reasons for moving house, just 25% of UK home sellers have been forced to move from a house they would have preferred to stay in.

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:

“There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, divorce is one of them. We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and relocating for work.

For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low.

However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

Survey of 1,077 UK home sellers carried out by Find Out Now (4th February 2021).

What was the main reason you had to move?



Divorce or relationship ending


Relocating for personal reasons (Having a baby etc)




Relocating for work


Financial reasons






Prefer not to say




Which would you describe as more upsetting?



Having to leave a property you loved


Having to break up with a previous partner




Have you had to sell a property you loved and would have preferred to stay in?