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Home / News / Buying with boomerang children in mind

Buying with boomerang children in mind

October 31, 2022

The relationship between parents and their children is commonly lifelong but there comes a time when the apron strings are cut and the brood flies the nest. It’s a stage in life when many parents, perhaps reaching retirement age, make a number of lifestyle changes.

One of those is downsizing – selling a large family home with multiple bedrooms to free equity, lower running costs and reduce the amount of property maintenance. This, however, may be a traditional trend under threat. 

There is mounting evidence to suggest adult children will increasingly look to move back in with their parents. Often referred to as the ‘boomerang generation’, these home movers may be returning after spending time in student accommodation, travelling or renting a property. 

The trend started garnering attention in 2021. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed more than half of people in their early twenties across the UK were still living with their parents, with millions in their late twenties and early thirties still residing at the family home. In fact, ONS data found an estimated 3.6 million people aged between 20 and 34 years old lived with parents in 2021 – an increase of 600,000 compared to a decade earlier. 

While it’s difficult to extract the number of boomerang children from the millions who have always lived with their parents, additional research set out to confirm how many grown-ups are returning after flying the nest. A Legal & General study released in early 2022 discovered more than 400,000 households had to accommodate returning grown-up children as a result of the pandemic. It’s a figure that is set to soar.

In October 2022, Aviva’s How We Live series found a fifth of independently-living adults are considering moving back in with their parents, citing the rising cost of living as the reason. In numbers, that’s the potential for 2 million 18 to 34 years olds to gate crash their family home to seek refuge from rising rents, energy prices and property running costs.

The How We Live series also found that the news won’t come as a shock to all parents, as many have already predicted they’ll have to welcome back offspring. Almost 3 in 10 (28%) parents said their child either plans to move back home or has shown an interest in doing so. 

We know it’s hard to see a child struggle, no matter how old they are, and with the number of boomerang kids looking likely to spike in the coming years, thoughts of downsizing may be pushed to one side. Parents of older children looking to move should perhaps consider a different style of property that would work for multi-generational living. It’s a property search we can help with, so get in touch for detailed buying and selling advice. 

For now, here are some top-line considerations when buying a property with boomerang children in mind:

  • Size: although it sounds obvious, the size of the property needs to accommodate everyone who may live there (you may even have to consider the prospect of grandchildren!). As well as extra people, a property will need to comfortably house everyone’s furniture and personal belongings.
  • Number of bedrooms: if you’re used to having a guest bedroom that’s regularly used by visitors, you may want to retain this facility and have another bedroom ready for more permanent use by boomerang children.
  • Travel plans: if grown-up children commute to work, this needs factoring in. A property may need to be on a certain bus route, near to an arterial road or have parking for several cars so everyone can get from A to B. 
  • Privacy: it may have been fun to share a family bathroom when the children were young but having adult offspring – and potentially their partners – using the same facilities isn’t ideal. Two bathrooms, preferably one that’s en-suite, will spare blushes and awkward exchanges.
  • Entertaining spaces: having two living rooms is beneficial, so each generation can watch TV and entertain in their own private space.

If you’d like to sell a property you own and move somewhere with the boomerang generation in mind, let us know.

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