Wednesday, 13 December 2017

'Rise of the annexe' owes a lot to our new ways of living

'Rise of the annexe' owes a lot to our new ways of living

The changing role
of annexes in recent years has seen their popularity start to climb, says KATIE BALDWIN, right, a negotiator at the Henley branch of Savills

HISTORICALLY, annexes have been defined as the studios found above the garage where older relatives were housed to keep them close by.

However, in recent years annexes have seen their role changing — and, in turn, their popularity growing.

Recently we have seen annexes, or other ancillary accommodation, increasingly feature in buyers’ search requirements, but the reasons for this tend to be quite varied...

Airbnb/short-term rentals

If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists it can be a real money-maker. For example, living near a festival, race course or the coast, where extra accommodation is needed just a few times a year.

The rise in popularity of Airbnb as a cheaper and more homely alternative to a hotel means that if you have extra space you can create an income with relatively little effort on your part.

Boomerang kids

With first-time buyers finding it trickier to get on the market due to the difficulties with raising a deposit, we have seen a trend in the number of children returning home to live while they save money.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of 20- to 34-year-olds living with their parents has increased by 25 per cent over the past decade. Having an annexe means they can maintain their own space and independence — and so can the parents.

Business premises

Offices have commonly been found in annexes as they allow for the separation of work and home life, but they are now being used more frequently for other types of business premises. This could be an artist’s studio, kitchen, bakery or even a beauty suite.

Leisure facilities

Once the preserve of the rich and famous, gyms and spas are increasingly finding their way into the home via the annexe — particularly if you don’t have the space or resources for a complete leisure complex.

Keeping them away from the house also reduces the risk of any noise coming into the main living space.

Multi-generational living

Although there are many new ways that owners are using their annexes, there is still space for granny.

The traditional use will probably never completely disappear and it is also a practical way of hosting relatives when they come to visit.

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