It is about the children

The most obvious result, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group,is of course the growing preference among those who can afford them for homes in gated estates where children can safely play outdoors.

“Another is the rising demand for apartments and townhouses in complexes that have their own playgrounds, pools and perhaps even a crèche. And even in the suburban context, parents are increasingly looking for homes that are not only close to good schools but will also accommodate the need for their children to spend more of their leisure or play time at home.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says some features that are likely to appeal to these parents include a safe back garden, spacious, sunny bedrooms, and an extra play space or “media room” where children can have their computers and play their own music without disturbing the rest of the household.

“And in cases where both parents of young children work away from home, additional accommodation for an au pair or a nanny is also a plus.”

Meanwhile, says Everitt, many families are having to deal with the fact that grown children now tend to stay at home longer than before. “It is often simply unaffordable for them to live elsewhere while they study, or in rental accommodation while they save up for homes of their own.

“Consequently, homebuyers with teenagers now often choose homes with an eye to accommodating these young people at a later stage in a self-contained suite or garden cottage.”

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