Friday, 24 September 2021

Annexing the future: granny flats are back

WHISPER it, but the granny flat is making a comeback.

WHISPER it, but the granny flat is making a comeback.

It emerged this week that the number of properties with a separate annexe has increased by more than a third in the past two years.

Research by the Valuation Office Agency 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 or dependent elderly parents, largely due to the increasing costs of long-term care.

Strutt & Parker’s 2015 Housing Futures report echoes this trend, identifying the increase in multi-generational living as a key shift in the property market. In the latest survey, 15 per cent of respondents who intend to move in the next five years anticipated living with multiple generations under one roof — compared to 10 per cent last year.

Alex Barton of Strutt & Parker in Pangbourne said: “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 cool again and is perceived as a huge advantage to buyers when I show them around properties.”

There is a need for flexible family homes to suit homeowners’ evolving needs. Plus with rental prices increasing, an annexe can also provide a valuable income until it is needed in the future.

The “yo-yo house” focuses on flexibility: growing, contracting and evolving with its occupants, offering them different space use over their lifetime.

Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker, said: “This is a trend we see increasing over the next decade, with rising house prices bringing several generations together under one roof.

“We call this tribe of homeowners ‘The Waltons’, with at least three generations living together — but this could also extend to households that share their living space with friends, extended family or the unmarried partners of children.”

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