Childhood clutter clogs up homes

02 July 2004
Britons are a nation of hoarders who are happy to leave some possessions at their family home.

The survey carried out by MORI on behalf of Norwich Union equity release, found that 1.5 million of 21-55 year olds still have a bedroom in the family home with the same possession in it as when they grew up, despite having moved out.

On top of this 8 million who have moved away still have some of their stuff lurking in their parents home.

The problem even affects the age groups who moved out some time ago: about 2 million homeowners aged 35-55 still store books and toys with their parents.

The director of Norwich Union equity release, Mark Kelly, said: "Even long after we have left the family nest, it's clear that we still have strong connections to our parents' home."

However, he continued: "While we are nostalgic about our childhood possessions, we don't love them enough to keep them in our own homes, and are happy to let our parents clutter up their houses with them instead. It's proof that we never really stop relying on our parents for something."

With house prices in the UK at record levels, older people who are living longer and wanting to enjoy a more fulfilling retirement may be looking to their houses as a potential source of income.

Mr Kelly added: "There is much talk about the advantages of downsizing to a smaller house as a way of releasing this capital, but our research shows that parents and children attach great importance to the family home, so moving on may not be the solution for everyone."

He concluded by saying an equity release plan could help homeowners to access the capital locked in their property while allowing them to remain in their own home.