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A third of homes are multi-generational with granny flats becoming popular - healthyfrog

A third of homes are multi-generational with granny flats becoming popular

A third of UK homes are now multi-generational, but rather than the traditional granny flat it is now mainly due to adult children living with their parents, new research has revealed.

Equivalent to nine million homes in the UK, these households are classed as adults from different generations living together at the same address.

Whilst more people moved in with other family members when lockdown was enforced, this only accounts for a small proportion of multi-generational homes, according to data from Aviva.

The combining of households has seen a surge in popularity for so-called ‘granny flats’ – annexes attached to homes to provide more space for accommodation. 

A third of homes are multi-generational, mainly due to adult children living with their parents

In Aviva’s How We Live report, the insurer compiles views of more than 4,000 adults across the UK.

It found that the most common type of household in the multi-generational category is one where adult children are still living at home with parents, accounting for nearly two in five multi-generational homes.

Many young adults move back home with their parents are graduating from university, hoping to save money for a house deposit. 

Known as ‘Boomerang’ children, they account for 11 per cent of people in multi-generational homes.

A further 11 per cent of adult children are living with their parents while they study at university or college.

Although many children moved in with their parents during lockdown, this accounted for just 3 per cent of multi-generational homes.

Similarly, only one per cent of households took in an elderly relative to support them during this time.

However, there are also a considerable number of older relatives who live with their families normally, usually for health or financial reasons.

While the proportion is much lower, older relatives account for 14 per cent of all multi-generational households, equivalent to 1.28million homes across the UK.

A similar Aviva study from 2016 found that older relatives accounted for just 9 per cent of multi-generational households, indicating a dramatic increase of this type of set-up.

PERCENTAGE OF GRANNY FLAT OWNERS 
Granny flat / annexe designed with following inhabitants in mind: Percentage of householders who have or plan to develop a granny flat or annexe choosing this option:
Older relative (e.g. elderly parent) 27%
Grown-up children 25%
Rented out as short home-stay / holiday let 24%
Other relative 19%
Rented out to lodger 16%
No one in particular 7%
Other  2%
Source: Aviva   

Gareth Hemming, MD Personal Lines, for Aviva said: ‘While lockdown led to some new multi-generational households, this type of arrangement is already the norm in millions of UK homes, for a multitude of reasons.

‘Many young people are living with parents to save for a house deposit or “boomeranging” back after university, while some older people are living with their families for health or financial reasons – so this is simply a way of life for these households.

‘This type of set-up could be set to grow further still. Our data suggests that the number of older people living in multi-generational households has increased over the past four years, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to modern living.’ 

The study also found that as many as one in eight homes could soon include additional accommodation in the form of granny flats and annexes.

Some 5 per cent have such a space already with converted garages, cellars and separate outbuildings providing extra accommodation.

A number of young adults move home to their parents so they can save money for a deposit

A number of young adults move home to their parents so they can save money for a deposit

A further 7 per cent of householders say they have plans to develop this type of space.

Regionally, granny flats are the most popular in London with up to a fifth of homes having or planning conversions.

This is likely due to the expense of living in London, meaning the more people under one roof, the cheaper the mortgage for residents.  

The North East and West Midlands also saw a large number of properties with granny flats or planning to install one, at 17 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. 

Traditionally, ‘granny flats’ were created with older relatives in mind, hence the name. 

However, the study suggests younger people are almost as likely to reside in this type of accommodation as older generations with 27 per cent of people in this group making plans for older relatives, compared to 25 per cent for grown-up children.

However, some homeowners have commercial motives with 24 per cent who have or plan to develop granny flats intending to rent them out as holiday lets, while 16 per cent are thinking of taking in lodgers.

Gareth Hemming adds: ‘The events of this year have focused many people’s minds on the home. 

‘Lockdown changed the make-up of some households, as young people returned home from university and older people joined support bubbles, so it’s possible that this has helped to crystalise people’s ideas for family accommodation.

‘It’s important that people inform their home insurer if they are planning to make changes to their properties, before and after the developments are completed, particularly if they are adding new buildings or changing the use of accommodation. 

‘This will help to ensure homes are covered during and after any building works, providing peace of mind for everyone at that address.’

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