● Half (50%) of the residents living in the North West see owning a holiday home as a sign of success
● An early retirement is what those in the North West (41%) most aspire to achieve
● Those living in the North West are the least likely to pay attention to other peoples’ purchasing habits across the UK(56%)
Do you own a holiday home? If so, half of the residents from the North West think you’re successful, with 50% identifying this as a sign that someone is doing well in life, according to new research by the personal loan provider, Hitachi Personal Finance.
The study of 2,000 UK adults reveals what people in the North West see as indicators of success, and which of these status symbols they aspire to own themselves – which don’t always align.
Though a holiday home came up trumps on the list of status symbols in the North West, only 32% aspired to own one themselves. In fact, early retirement came top of the North West’s ‘aspired after’ list (41%), higher than owning any physical item, including a walk-in wardrobe (28%), a brand new car (28%), or a log burner (21%).
The North West’s top five indicators of ‘someone doing well in life’ were:
Owning a holiday home (50%)
Early retirement (44%)
A brand-new car with a new registration plate (35%)
A cleaner (25%)
Owning a wine cellar (26%)
Slightly off-kilter with what the North West aspires to have themselves:
An early retirement (41%)
A holiday home (32%)
A walk-in wardrobe (28%)
A brand new car with a new registration plate (28%)
A log burner (21%)
The study also revealed which region is most likely to be influenced by others, with those from the North West being the least likely – 56% of people from this region said they don’t pay attention to what other people are purchasing, compared to the national average of 49%.
Hitachi’s research also looked at the evolution of status symbols throughout the decades, going back to the 1950s when a toaster was a highly sought-after item.Overall, the study highlighted a shift in the type of items seen as having status, with a greater focus on improving quality of life as opposed to ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
Commenting on the findings, Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, said: “Status symbols have always been a hot topic throughout the decades, but what we as a nation aspire to have, and respect as a sign of success in others, is certainly changing.
“Looking at our timeline, we can see that what was once considered luxuries, such as toasters and washing machines, are now everyday essentials. On the other hand, some of the status symbols of today may well have been commonplace in the 50s and 60s, such as wood floors and log burners. Based on our research, it’s a very real possibility that we could soon see the resurgence of some classics from the 80s and 90s, which we’re already finding with the revival of vinyl records and retro games. It’s interesting to think about what the future will hold and when the status symbols of this generation will begin to become outdated!”