The average over-50 has unused space in their home worth the equivalent of £56,574, new research suggests.
The study of 2,000 adults found that once children had moved out of the home, middle-aged adults are left with 34m² of empty space in their homes.
A typical house in the UK comprises 165.5m² and costs £276,393, meaning each square meter equates to the value of £1,669.
There can be any number of reasons for leaving space unutilised, such as wanting to keep the space free in case children return to the family home. But the survey found that this can result in financial wastage, and half of respondents reported feeling worried about their financial future.
Mark Gregory, founder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, which commissioned the research, said: “Our survey found there is plenty of space in the family homes of empty nesters which is going to waste, and it’s not just space – but possible financial wastage.
“There tends to be fond memories and a certain amount of nostalgia linked to a property, so it’s difficult for people to say goodbye to a family home.
The Renovation Opportunity
Having this empty space, typically in the form of two unoccupied rooms, led to two-fifths of respondents saying the house felt emptier once their children had moved out.
The study, conducted by OnePoll, also reported however that many seize the opportunity to fill this empty space, transforming the rooms into a personal gym, office or craft room.
For self builders and renovators, having this kind of house space marks an ideal moment to begin your home improvement journey, which can end up adding significant value to your property.
There are several ways to add value to your home, and whether you decide to renovate or undergo a makeover, making the most of empty space can help you ensure the best return when you decide to sell the house or pass it on to your children.
(MORE: Complete guide to renovating a house)