Nearly half of empty nest parents 'have no plans to downsize to smaller home'

Nearly half of "empty nesters" whose adult children have left home are not considering moving to a smaller property themselves, a survey has found.

Some 45% of parents whose children have moved out of the family home are staying put with no intention of downsizing, Lloyds Bank found.

Empty nesters typically have two spare bedrooms as a result of their children moving out - but many are now being used as home offices, guest rooms or hobby rooms.

Some parents have left their grown-up children's bedrooms untouched - while others now rent them out through websites such as Airbnb - the survey found.

Looking at why people are staying put, some have 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%) need the extra space to look after them. A fifth (20%) 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%) enjoying the newly found space and rediscovering their independence.

More than two-fifths (41%) say they are now better off financially and more than one in three (37%) are able to spend more quality time with their grandchildren.

Being better off means nearly a third (31%) have been able to travel more, with 6% saying that they have now had the chance to pursue a lifelong dream.

Two-fifths (43%) have also made improvements to their home since their children left - mainly to kitchens and bathrooms.

But a quarter (26%) say they do not enjoy being an empty nester and 14% 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."

More than 1,000 parents whose children have left the family home were surveyed.

Here is the average windfall that moving from a detached home to a bungalow could bring across the UK, according to Lloyds Bank:
- North East, £89,099
- Yorkshire and the Humber, £117,306
- North West, £84,498
- East Midlands, £87,147
- West Midlands, £126,806
- East Anglia, £86,812
- Wales, £118,767
- South West, £169,578
- South East, £273,466
- London, £54,780
- Northern Ireland, £67,211
- Scotland, £89,099

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