The UK is the fourth happiest place in Europe – when it comes to satisfaction with our homes
The UK is only the fourth happiest place in Europe – when it comes to satisfaction with our homes.
Poor natural light, bad air quality and a lack of space were revealed as some of main reasons Brits aren’t satisfied with their living situation.
The GoodHome Report, the largest study of its kind ever conducted, surveyed 13,489 people across Europe, asking them a series of questions about happiness and the home.
And of 10 European countries polled, Brits lagged behind the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark in terms of ‘home happiness’.
The startling statistics revealed that despite the trope of location being everything, people viewed having access to green space as more important than where they live.
The report was created with independent thinktank The Happiness Research Institute, who stated that whether people lived in the city or countryside, it ‘made no significant difference to happiness.’
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, said: “Our research shows that often we look for happiness in the wrong places. “Sometimes what we think makes us happy and what really makes us happy are not the same – the report builds on the belief that our homes shape our lives.
“They are where we find comfort and safety, where we let our guard down and connect with our loved ones.
“In a world demanding more and more of our attention, our homes are where we can retreat and seek refuge.”
Scoring an average of 7.69 out of 10, the Dutch were top of the list when it came to rating how happy they were with their homes.
They were also the most likely to describe their home as ‘spacious’, with the report stating: “A feeling of spaciousness is three times more important than actual size.”
Out of the ten European countries surveyed, the Russians, with an average score of 6.57 came bottom, while Brits came fourth, with an average score of 7.4.
The report found our homes account for 15 per cent of our total happiness – with health and fitness scoring 14 per cent, and what we earn just six per cent.
Yet one in four homeowners in the UK say they aren’t happy with their home. And while many of us aspire to climb the housing ladder, the report shows that whether we own or rent has little impact on our happiness.
Véronique Laury, CEO of B&Q owner Kingfisher, said: “I’m convinced that our homes are one of the keys to happiness.
That’s why I’ve spent my life working in the home improvement industry and 16 years in this business.
“It’s why at Kingfisher, our purpose is to make home improvement accessible for everyone – because we believe everybody should be able to have a home they can feel good about.”
HOME HAPPINESS LEVELS ACROSS EUROPE:
1. Netherlands – 7.69
2. Germany – 7.60
3. Denmark – 7.47
4. UK – 7.40
5. Spain – 7.22
6. France – 7.17
7. Romania – 7.11
8. Italy – 7.02
9. Poland – 6.92
10. Russia – 6.57
The figure is a score out of 10 and represents average levels of home happiness among those surveyed.
FIVE TIPS TO A HAPPIER HOME:
1. Re-arrange your space – Rearranging and improving our homes to create a greater sense of space could therefore be an easy way for many of us to boost our happiness levels.
2. Make time for change – Investing time and energy into updating our homes and adapting them to our changing needs is an investment in our happiness, even if we don’t always enjoy the process!
3. Invite people in – Our homes are happier when we invite people to share them with us. This increases our pride in our homes, as well as the emotional connection we feel with where we live.
4. Get green-fingered – Access to green space makes a big difference to our happiness levels. Even if we don’t have a garden, bringing some greenery into our homes will improve our overall wellbeing.
5. Put your own stamp on it – Whether we rent or own, finding ways to add your personality – from painting a wall to hanging a picture of our loved ones – will make our homes a little happier.