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Press releases


17th Oct 2006

Over 15 million Brits own homes with more bedrooms than they need, a situation that's costing homeowners more than 20,000 each over the life of their mortgage.*

Almost half of all British homeowners (45%) cite being able to accommodate visiting friends and family as the main reason for buying an over-sized property.

However, according to a new study from Travelodge, almost a fifth of British homeowners have never had relatives or friends stay overnight and just two per cent say it happens once a week.

On average, Brits put up friends just six times a year, and relatives even more infrequently at five times. Only using a room a few times each year is an expensive habit, costing the homeowner approximately 155 each visit.

Worse still, almost one in ten (8%) British homeowners have never used their spare bedroom and over two thirds (67%) have at least one spare room that isn't slept in every night.

This relaxed attitude means six out of every ten households (58%) use their spare room simply as a space to keep junk. Other popular uses for these vacant spaces are as a study (31%), wardrobe space (10%), exercise room (3%) or TV room (3%).

Although accommodating friends and relatives is the primary reason for buying a bigger property for many homeowners, just under half (46%) say playing host is an unwelcome chore. This is reflected in the finding that more than half of all homeowners (51%) don't bother to decorate their guest rooms.

Brits' least favourite overnight guests:

1. In-laws (26%)
2. Friends with young children (21%)
3. Work colleagues (13%)
4. Mums (9%)
5. Grandparents (5%)
6. Sisters (3.2%)
7. Brothers (3%)
8. Cousins (2.5%)
9. Dads (2.3%)
10.Step brothers (2%)

Guy Parsons, Travelodge's Chief Operating Officer said; "Buying a house thats too big simply to accommodate visitors just doesn't add up, particularly when many people don't even enjoy hosting guests overnight.

"Brits' inclination toward maintaining unused spare rooms is a tremendous financial drain. If you dont have regular overnight visitors, buying a house with fewer bedrooms can make a lot of sense. Your mortgage is lighter and you can put visiting friends or family up in a hotel - everybody stays happy in the process."

Although 16% of homeowners have considered making extra cash by renting out their unoccupied bedrooms, just 2% of entrepreneurial homeowners are making the most of the opportunity to get additional income through rent.

- Ends -

UK homeowners' reasons for buying a bigger property than needed:

Visiting friends and family (45%)
A love of the property, no matter the number of rooms (15%)
Expanding family (13%)
Financial sense (9%)

*Travelodge research conducted by 72 point in September 2006 among over 2000 UK adults.

For more information, please contact:

Jo Begbie

Travelodge PR Manager

01844 358 624

07841 725 053

As the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge currently has approximately 279 hotels across the UK in city centres, near attractions and airports.

Notes to editors:

Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics)

Average cost of a house today: 169, 413 (Nationwide September 2006 figures)

Average number of rooms: 8 (Travelodge homeowner research)

Average number of bedrooms: 3 (Travelodge homeowner research)

15,353,504 UK homeowners with more rooms than needed (Travelodge homeowner research).

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