Parents are choosing homes based on children having free reign.

More than half of children have free run of the home, with no space off limits – including their parents’ bedroom or a ‘posh’ lounge, it has been revealed today.

The survey by Barratt Homes suggested children’s influence on space in the home has increased to 55 per cent. It compares to only 40 per cent of today’s parents saying they had free reign of the family home when they were younger.

And children continue to rule the roost well into later life, with 36 per cent of adults moving back to the family home having previously moved out. Relationship break-ups, saving for a deposit and a lack of affordable rental properties are the main reasons for a return to the family nest.

Londoners are the most likely to have children who have moved back to the family home at 22 per cent, followed by those in the north east at 20 per cent, while parents in Scotland are the least likely at 5 per cent.

The change in family life is reflected in what buyers are looking for in a home. The research showed a third of buyers look 10 years into the future when buying a property, with a similar number searching for a property that can easily be changed and adapted as their lifestyle or circumstances change.

The trend isn’t just to accommodate children - multi-generational and extended-family living is now common with one in four households made up of non-immediate family members, such as cousins and grandparents under one roof.

To cope with changing patterns of family life, the top five internal factors buyers look for include an open plan kitchen or dining area, easy access to outside space, flexibility to change a room’s use and having a private study.

Patrick Law, a spokesman for Barratt Developments said: “We are continually researching and monitoring how families use their space at home, and Barratt incorporates this into the thoughtful design of the new homes we build.  There is a big difference in the homes we design for modern family life compared with those built in the 1930s to meet the needs of families 80 years ago.

“Having a space which families can use in different ways is really critical to our home buyers. Open plan living is increasingly important but at the same time buyers are often looking for some sort of sanctuary space, whether that’s a separate study or an upgraded bedroom. And today’s family battleground now seems to be whether that space will also become dominated by children – whatever their age.”

Tags: Buying
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