NEARLY half of “empty nesters” whose adult children have left home are not considering moving to a smaller property themselves, a survey by Lloyds Bank has found. Some 45 per cent of parents whose children have moved out of the family home are staying put with no intention of downsizing,
More than 1,000 parents whose children have left the family home were surveyed. It was revealed that on average ’empty nesters’ typically have two spare bedrooms as a result of their children moving out.
Some parents have left their grown-up children’s bedrooms untouched -but many are now being used as home offices, guest rooms or hobby rooms, while others now rent them out through websites such as Airbnb.
Looking at why people are staying put, reasons included having built strong links with their community, do not need the money that moving to a smaller property could free up, or simply do not want the hassle of moving, the research found.
Lloyds calculates that downsizing can typically earn a windfall of £109,659 for a UK home owner moving from a detached three-bedroom family home to a bungalow.
Looking after grandchildren is also a major reason for empty nesters not wanting to move as more than one in four (28 per cent) need the extra space to look after them. A fifth (20 per cent) are also reluctant to leave a home full of memories.
Many parents are making the most of the new chapter in their life, with nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) enjoying the newly found space and rediscovering their independence.
More than two-fifths (41 per cent) say they are now better off financially and more than one in three (37 per cent) are able to spend more quality time with their grandchildren.
Being better off means nearly a third (31 per cent) have been able to travel more, with 6 per cent saying that they have now had the chance to pursue a lifelong dream.
Two-fifths (43 per cent) have also made improvements to their home since their children left – mainly to kitchens and bathrooms.
But a quarter (26 per cent) say they do not enjoy being an empty nester and 14 per cent say they find it difficult to live in the property now that it feels empty.
Andy Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “Contrary to the belief that this time in a parent’s life is lonely, a lot of empty nesters are now enjoying life since their kids have flown the nest by being able to travel more and chase lifelong dreams.
“It is also encouraging to see a significant number of home owners looking to downsize and release funds for their future; movement at this end of the ladder is important to keep the housing market healthy.”