This image: Property with annexe in Great Chishill, guide price £775,000
Resurgence in vintage property trend identified by local estate agents Strutt & Parker
Estate agents Strutt & Parker, who have offices on Hills Road, Cambridge, have recorded the return of a vintage property trend. According to the Valuation Office Agency, the number of properties with a separate annexe for family members has increased by more than a third in the past two years.
The research shows that it’s the baby boom generation who are the most likely to need extra accommodation – both for younger family members who are unable to get on the property ladder themselves, and dependent elderly parents, largely due to the increasing costs of long-term care.
Strutt & Parker’s Housing Futures echoes this trend, identifying the increase in multigenerational living as a key shift in the property market. In its latest annual survey results, 15% of respondents who intend to move in the next five years anticipated living with multiple generations all under one roof compared with 10% the previous year.
“We call this tribe of homeowners ‘The Waltons’ “
Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker, said: “This is a trend that we see increasing over the next decade, with the rise in house prices that is bringing several generations together under one roof. We call this tribe of homeowners ‘The Waltons’, with at least three generations living together in one home, but this could also extend to those households that share their living space with their friends, extended family or the unmarried partners of their children.”
Cameron Ewer, partner at Strutt & Parker in Cambridge says: “Moving beyond the traditional family set-up, this arrangement is more akin to the households of the past where lots of generations lived together. The granny flat is becoming cool again and is perceived as a huge advantage to buyers when I show them properties. Even if they don’t use the space immediately, it is something that will future-proof a home for the long term.”
The Strutt & Parker Housing Futures research also highlighted the need for more flexible family homes to suit homeowners’ evolving needs and identified the ‘Yo-yo house’ as a possible solution. Stephanie continues: “The ‘Yo-yo house’ focuses on flexibility: growing, contracting and evolving with its occupants, offering them different space use over their lifetime. For example, the footings will allow a garage space, not only to be converted to a single-storey living space, but to two or three storeys – the cost of retrofitting being higher than the cost of future-proofing at the build stage.”