A fifth of UK households* are home to children sharing bedrooms, according to research from Post Office Mortgage’s Step-up report**. For one in 10 (9 per cent) homes this is due to a lack of space, as the average square foot of a home has decreased dramatically over the last 90 years from 1,647 square feet to 925 square feet***.
Over half (58 per cent) of all adults wish their children had bigger rooms in which to study and play, and a further two thirds (63 per cent) would like to move in to a bigger house. Unfortunately, aspiring movers can expect to wait an average of four years before they will be able to upsize, while nearly a third (30 per cent) doubt they will ever be able to move up the ladder due finances or other commitments.
In some households the kids rule the roost, with almost a third (31 per cent) of adults willing to take a smaller room. This seems to be especially true amongst adults (49 per cent) with children aged between one and three years old.
Despite the warm weather, it appears children are more likely to spend their summer holidays indoors. More than a quarter (28 per cent) prefer to sit inside and play computer games, while one in eight (15 per cent) spend most of their time watching television. Over two thirds (65 per cent) of adults say that children in their household play outside less than they did as a child.
John Willcock, Head of Mortgages at Post Office said: “With the average house size continuing to shrink, and with many family homes often lacking a garden, it’s hardly surprising that so many of us are concerned about this lack of space and the impact it will have on our children.
“Unfortunately, the reality of the situation means a lot of families feel like they’re letting their children down by not being able to provide them with their own room, or playroom where they can study or play. As a result a number of parents are making sacrifices and giving up larger rooms in the home to children.
“For those people considering moving and upsizing, it’s important to be clear on what you can afford, and therefore, which mortgage deal will best meet your needs. While not having enough space might be frustrating, it’s far better than over-stretching yourself financially. You should also take into account the needs and priorities of your family when looking for a new home and consider what comes top of the list, be it location, more space or proximity to good schools.”
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Notes to editors
*Households refers to UK Adults who have children under the age of 18 living in their home
**Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of the Post Office between 24th to 26th June 2014. 2,004 online interviews of UK adults over the age of 18 of whom 661 had children in their household.
*** Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
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