Empty nesters unable to move as homes become 'storage facilities' for their children
UK adults rely on their family home to house a huge amount of old belongings even after they've 'moved out'
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Monday 19 May 2014
One in five adults still consider their parents’ house as 'home' and more than one in ten adults in their 50s still use their parents' home for storage long after they have moved out, according to a report from Post Office Mortgages.
More than half of adults have left childhood awards/certificates behind, 45 per cent books and posters, and a third 'store' clothes with their parents. Around 17 per cent still keep old sporting equipment at their childhood home.
While the most commonly kept items are kept for sentimental reasons, one in 20 parents whose children have left belongings after moving out say they feel unable to move or downsize as a result.
The report indicates that more than a third of 'Generation Rent' just do not have the space to store effects in their current home, and depend on their parents to help out.
Just over ten per cent of bedrooms in the survey have remained unchanged since the nest was flown, with 41 per cent of parents eyeing them up for a guest bedroom and 19 per cent hoping to turn them into studies.
"Space remains one of the biggest challenges facing homeowners, with many struggling to find enough of it in their first or even second homes," said John Willcock, Head of Mortgages at Post Office. "For most people, it’s simply easier to rely upon Mum and Dad for storage which in some cases has stopped them from reclaiming the family home and forced them to put their own property plans on hold."
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