For previous generations home ownership was considered a rite of passage and likely outcome for most British people…These days for lots of individuals, owning their own property is either a pipe dream (due to inflation of property prices) or other accommodation options appear more favourable. Generation rent is producing more mobile ‘ready-to-move’ customers than ever before, which may be viewed as a positive for the household goods moving industry.
Short term rental agreements are commonplace, meaning tenants are always on the look out for a more convenient housing situation or a better deal on rental price. This being the case short notice or ‘quick moves’ are on the rise. Students provide another core presence in this group, with many choosing to change accommodation with each year of study, presenting opportunities for between 3-7 moves in as many years depending on the length of their studies!
Brexit has also created additional opportunities for the international moving market in the UK with The Independent reporting a surge ‘in the number of British people obtaining the nationality of another EU member state since the referendum, with German citizenship being the most frequently sought after.’ Citizenship applications from the UK to Germany increased by 177% from 2016 – 2017. This is surely a trend that savvy removals companies are watching with interest.
Another big trend this year is the increase in ‘green living’ options available within all industries. Increasingly customers are considering their carbon footprint and wastage when thinking about how best to carry out moves. More environmentally aware and socially responsible removals companies are entering the market with selling points including the addition of biodiesel to fuel, eco-friendly / recycled packaging and carbon-neutrality via support of green energy sources.
As well as trends towards the ‘greener’ side of life we are seeing an increase in demand for high end moving services. Ownership of fine art, antiques and specialist items (like grand pianos or fine wines) has become more commonplace, with many removals’ companies specialising in solely moving these luxury items or adding specialist departments to their range of services. Servicing of politicians, celebrities, galleries, museums and auction houses is another necessary removals product.
Although the moving industry can sometimes be viewed as a sector which is subject to limited changes, these trends show that there is a shift towards greener, short notice moves with increased demand for the niche knowledge required to move high value goods. As people continue to become more mobile (perhaps migrating overseas in the wake of Brexit) international moving companies may well see an increased market share. Removals industry watch this space!
Written by Katie Smith, Assoc CIPD, BA Hons | Head of Special Projects – HR, Talent & Content at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions.