When it comes to finding love, forget good looks and charm; what we really want are Smart TVs and sofas.
New figures from our furniture shops show that nearly three million millennials (2,989,439) – around 23 % - would prefer to have a partner with a fully furnished house than a great body, good personality or a good sense of humour.
While traditional adverts for a significant other might have seen us keen to bag a partner with a kind heart, or a decent set of morals, it seems the rising cost of living has driven younger generations to desperate measures ditching more classically desired traits in favour of home comforts. Nearly 700,000 young people aged 16-24 would prefer their ‘other half’ to have a fully furnished home more than a great family (697,087) while over half a million would opt for a partner with a fully furnished home over a good sense of humour (587,021).
It’s no surprise that Londoners – who have seen the steepest rise in rent and property costs over the last few years - are more likely than other regions to forgo a partner with more classic requirements. More than 1 million (1,408,512, 16%) Londoners of any age would be happy to opt for a romantic partner with a fully furnished home over a good personality or a great family.
The findings also showed that potential housemates needn’t bother swotting up on Love Island or practicing their culinary skills; as what really matters to house-sharers are the furniture items that their potential lodgers can bring with them. Just under a fifth (19%) of UK adults said that bringing their own bed would make a potential housemate more desirable, while nearly a fifth (18%) of 16 – 34 year olds surveyed said it helps a new housemate stand out if they come with good furniture to add to the flat.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of 16-24 year olds and a fifth (20%) of 25-34 year olds would find a potential housemate more desirable if they brought a TV or wardrobe with them – and a seventh of 16-24 year olds (15% ) would be more keen on those who come bringing a toaster, coffee machine or kettle.
1 in 8 (12%) UK adults aged 16-24 also said that bringing their own sofa would make a potential romantic partner more desirable when it comes to moving in.
And although we might be keen to move in with a partner who has a fully furnished home – it could cost us dearly if we break up. Those surveyed said it has cost them an average of £309.77 to replace the furniture when leaving a romantic partner and moving somewhere new.
Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation said: ‘The cost of buying and furnishing a home can be a real strain on the younger generations, so it’s no surprise that we’re finding more young renters, students and first time buyers are coming to the British Heart Foundation furniture shops to kit out their homes. With sofas from £95 and wardrobes from £40, its fantastic value for those on a budget and means that hopefully they can fully furnish their properties AND also find a partner with a great personality!’
This autumn, the British Heart Foundation is calling on the nation to transform their homes and help beat heartbreak forever by taking on the Makeover Challenge. From upcycling a pre-loved piece of furniture to refreshing a whole room or space, the BHF is encouraging interiors enthusiasts, bargain hunters and those on a budget to get involved and head into one of their 180 furniture and home stores across England, Scotland and Wales to bag a bargain, give their home a seasonal update and share the new looks with the #BoughtatBHF hashtag.
Every item sold in BHF stores will help to raise funds for research into heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes. Last year, BHF furniture stores sold over 140,000 donated sofas, which went towards raising more than £25 million for the charity’s vital work.
Find out more about the Makeover Challenge