Wine fridge, pizza oven & home gym among most coveted status symbols

A study of 2,000 UK adults found owning a pizza oven, a home gym and stylish sculptures in the garden also made the top 30 list of items signifying that someone is doing well. A sports car, barista-quality coffee machine and solar panels also featured on the top 30 list, with nearly a third (31%) of Brits agreeing solar panels are an indicator of social standing across neighbourhoods in the UK.

Gen Z are three times more likely to feel this way than Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980. The research also revealed 59% agreed you can tell how successful someone is by the state and quality of their home and furnishings – and the things they hang on their walls such as awards, trophies and certificates.

The study went on to find Gen Z, aged up to 27, are most likely to consider a walk-in wardrobe something of a status symbol. On the other hand, 26% of younger adults would like to boast about a wine fridge, which leaves Baby Boomers cold – selected by just 13%.

Smart home device experts, Hive, commissioned the study to mark the launch of Hive Solar with solar panels and battery integrated into the app, which allow people to generate their own energy from the sun, set budgets and save money on their energy bills.

Susan Wells, of Low Carbon Homes, which aims to retrofit properties to reduce their carbon emissions, said: “Having status symbols in the home can turn your neighbour’s heads and look at you like the proverbial ‘Jones’ on the street.

“Whether it’s an electric vehicle, a hot tub or underfloor heating, certain items in and around the home bring attention to the trailblazing owner.

“With a solar system and battery, customers can save any spare energy for later or even sell what they don’t need back to the grid to make money.”

Almost half (45%) of all respondents think being ‘green’ and caring for the environment is the ultimate status symbol. And 29% show off about having solar panels by talking about money-saving benefits to their friends, family and neighbours as well as demonstrating how good they are for the environment.

A green-eyed 33% of the nation try to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’, with an honest 42% telling their neighbour they’re envious. In fact, 71% admit going out and purchasing an identical item.

If you want to find out whether you are keeping up with the Joneses’, take the quiz below.

Almost a quarter (24%) have experienced being the trendsetters themselves, having people copy something they had at their home. And while 43% felt flattered by the imitation, 17% admitted it annoyed them, according to OnePoll figures.

Hive has partnered with psychologist, Jo Hemmings, to explore why people are so taken with status symbols, and why some see them as so important.

Jo said: “In social psychological terms, it has always been important to show our status – it gives us a sense of identity and self-esteem while indicating to others our social standing. Over the years, the items we associate with our status have evolved.

“Thirty years ago, things which are now commonplace like a dishwasher, a mobile phone and a colour TV – were thought of as signs of having money, but today, environmentally conscious consumers are driving the evolution of status symbols. Now, eco-friendly credentials are redefining how people flaunt their status.

“From electric vehicles and solar panels to compost heaps and vegetable patches, taking care of the environment is now the ultimate status symbol.

“When people see their neighbours doing things that are green they are inclined to do it themselves, known as the ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ notion. Green envy is spreading, house by house, street by street and neighbourhood by neighbourhood.”

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