Comment: Why flexible homes hold the key
John Elliott, managing director of Millwood Designer Homes discusses the importance of homebuilders expanding into the market of multigenerational living, by offering families new homes with greater flexibility
With modern family life changing as younger generations save for a deposit of their own and older generations move back in with their children, multi-generational living is becoming increasing popular in Britain.
Recent research compiled by the NHBC Foundation shows that more than 1.8m households in the UK contain two or more adult generations. My understanding is that this significant rise in recent years has been largely down to the number of adults over 25, who continue to live in the family home with their parents.
Multi-generational living is becoming more appealing to homebuyers due to the benefits it offers for all involved. As well as the social benefit of living together, splitting bills costs, helping with childcare and providing support for older family members are amongst several pros to having more than one generation, living under one roof.
At present, only 16% of families believe their existing house would be suitable. I believe there is definitely an expanding market for multi-generational homes, which more homebuilders should be tapping into.
At our bespoke Lavender Fields development near Lewes in East Sussex we are selling a selection of large five and six-bedroom family homes, which have been carefully designed to provide luxurious yet practical living spaces, ideal for modern family life.
The layouts include selfcontained areas such as private home-offices or workshops featuring kitchenettes and a toilet and generously sized bedrooms, complete with en-suites for privacy.
In other countries, multigenerational living is recognised as improving wellbeing and contributing to an effective use of housing stock and the UK must follow suit.
As homebuilders, we have been presented with an excellent opportunity to design new homes with flexible layouts to suit a range of living circumstances and generations throughout a lifetime.
Millwood developments: There are three Millwood Designer Homes developments being worked on in Kent – at Maidstone, Marden and Sutton Valence.
Windsor Meadow in Plain Road, Marden will be made up of 86 houses, ranging from twobedroom terraced homes to five-bedroom detached homes. The show home is open daily between 11am and 5pm with the first homes ready to move into this winter. Prices start from £465,000.
The Orchard at Sutton Valence is a small development of five homes. One home has already been sold leaving just a pair of three-bedroom homes, one detached four-bedroom home plus a detached five-bedroom property. Prices start from £465,000.
Brambledown at Cripple Street in Maidstone will have 36 homes including two and three-bedroom chalet bungalows. Some homes will be ready to move into this autumn with the remainder complete by next spring.
A new development at Cliffsend, near Ramsgate, is also in the pipeline.
The Orchard, Sutton Valence, built by Millwood Designer Homes