Estate agents have reported an increase in the number of homeowners turning over spare space downstairs into extra bedrooms.

A growing number of homes are now being engineered to feature a downstairs bedroom – although the reason for doing so may not be quite as it first appears. Whilst some would expect this move to be a way of adding value to a property – or creating extra rooms from which to take rent if the property were put up to let – the reality is somewhat different.

As many children are returning to their parents’ homes, either after university or whilst they try to save for a property of their own, extra room might be needed. This correlates with figures from the Office for National Statistics, notes, which suggest that one in four people aged between 20 and 34 are now living at home with their parents.

Similarly, another reason for families making room is to house an elderly relative who may need to move in to be cared for on a more permanent basis. As the infirm relative would need something on the ground floor, sitting rooms or dining rooms are being converted.

The results come from insurer Churchill, which discovered that one in ten households had either already done this or was planning to do so in the coming months.

Commenting, head of Churchill home insurance, Martin Scott told “Putting in a downstairs bedroom can be a very practical solution for homeowners, whether they may be finding space for a growing child, helping to care for elderly relatives or making visiting friends feel more comfortable.”