Will downsizing become a thing of the past?

family

If you currently own a family house and expect to move to somewhere “more practical” once the children have grown up, you might need to reconsider your plans.

According to recent research the current demographic shift to a low mortality/low fertility society is creating a new generation of future homeowner. As the population is living longer, people are lingering longer in their various life stages before moving on.

One of the predictions is that by 2026, almost 80 per cent of the adult population will be ‘adkids’ – an amalgamation of adults and kids, who are quite happy to rely on mum and dad for longer, primarily as a result of higher housing and living costs. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the age at which these ‘ Peter Pans’ leave home, get married, and have their first child, with a knock-on effect on future generations.

For example, women now have their first child at an average age of 30 (source ONS). This is five years later than in 2008 and has been attributed in no small part to the rising cost of housing and tougher lending criteria. Couples feel more comfortable starting a family once they have the “security” of their own roof over their heads and are having to work longer to save for a deposit before doing so.

It is predicted that parents will spend less time being ‘empty nesters’ and more time in the ‘sandwich’ generation, where they experience simultaneous demands from both their elderly parents (who are living longer), and the ‘adkids’ who haven’t yet left home.

So if you have teenagers and are pushed for space, don’t bank on them moving out in the foreseeable future. And if you are currently buying a property, perhaps you should consider purchasing something bigger than you currently need in order to provide enough space, perish the thought, for your extended family!

If so, do let us know and we’ll make it as painless as possible!

Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents

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