Maidstone parents build £10k 'Graddy Annex' in battle against high rents
A young Maidstone professional has moved back in with mum and dad after soaring rents resulted in her parents paying £10,000 for a “Graddy annex”.
Lucy Fermor’s monthly outgoings left her with no money to set aside for a deposit and decided to return home to save.
The 20-year-old’s new rent of £500 per month, to be paid to her parents, will be saved to finance a deposit for a house in the future.
Miss Fermor, an insurance company account manager, said: “After enjoying the freedom of moving out it was not ideal to move back home. But in reality, I’m like many people my age because I didn’t really have any choice.
“My annex has its own front door, floor to ceiling wardrobes, a little patio area at the side and enough space for me to have my boyfriend over.”
Former students and young professionals face an uphill struggle to get onto the property ladder and high rental fees mean the cost of living has spiralled out of control.
Council tax for an annex is reduced by 50 per cent if a family member is living in there and presents a more financially viable option.
The traditional “Granny Annex” may have been around for decades but house builders are now witnessing a huge increase in demand for suitable accommodation for grown up children.
The Fermors converted their existing garage into a self-contained annex complete with en-suite bathroom and kitchenette.
Miss Fermor, the eldest daughter of the family, said: “My dream is to own my own home but with the high cost of renting this is the only way I will ever be able to save for a deposit.
“Every month I give my mum and dad £500 in rent, but they are putting that aside for my deposit. I’m very lucky to have this as an option and I have many friends my age that have done, or plan to do the same.
“When my parents were at this stage in their careers they could afford to rent or buy. But I am in a generation of people who simply don’t have that luxury.”
Designers have been inundated with requests to adapt existing family homes and in just two years, 9,330 new annexes have been built in England and Wales, according to the Valuation Office Agency.
Andrew Clague, boss of Clague Architects, said more people were asking for home solutions for their grown-up children than ever before.
He said: “I have been designing homes for 40 years and we are now seeing a huge increase in the number of people coming to us for a solution relating to their grown-up children.
“We have converted outbuildings, designed self-contained annexes and built extensions for existing homeowners looking to find space for their graduate children returning from university but unable to afford to get onto the property ladder themselves.”