Demographic changes in buyer profiles in the UK Residential housing market are marked, as the effects of an ageing population come to the fore. Remarkably, over 60% of UK households do not have any mortgage debt and property wealth has fuelled a new booming sector in the market, namely the ‘Down-Sizer’ market. The ‘Down-Sizer’ market has facilitated people buying a smaller home in retirement years and banking the remaining equity in order to either provide income in addition to their pension in retirement, or to use the money to facilitate a lifestyle investment such as an overseas property. It has also created that other new market we have all heard much about in recent years, ‘The Bank of Mum & Dad’, whereby this equity is also used to gift to children in order to help them gain a foothold on the property ladder.
There is however a percentage of the population who despite having some property wealth do not have sufficient to be able to buy a smaller property, debt free. Under these circumstances there can often be discussions within families whereby property wealth is combined and the option of an annex becomes the favoured route for the two strands of the family. Sometimes of course health can play its part in the decision to buy a property with an annex or to extend an existing property in order to create annexed accommodation and parents are then close at hand as they move in to later life.
The annex can have other benefits of course such as separate accommodation for a teenager, or as live in accommodation for a ‘Nanny’. That other burgeoning demographic for whom an annex can be useful, is the offspring who do not have sufficient income to afford a property of their own and so they remain at home for a much longer period than was historically the case, and this is reflected in the fact that the average age of a First Time Buyer is now 38 years of age.
The problem that many people have is actually finding a property with an annex. It is fine if you have a property that has the space to extend sufficiently, but this is naturally not always the case. Suffice to say, there is always demand for property with annexed accommodation and at WEST-The Property Consultancy we more often than not have one or two properties at any one moment in time that have an annex, or have the potential to create one, and now is no exception.