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Wall Street Journal / Life - Entertain

Forward-Looking Homeowners Want Rooms That Do Double Duty

Real-estate agents and home builders see a resurgence in demand for bonus spaces that serve multiple purposes—from man cave to master bedroom to music room.


WSJ Real Estate

MANSION Forward-Looking Homeowners Want Rooms That Do Double Duty

Katrina Wittkamp for The Wall Street Journal

Home builders and designers are seeing a resurgence in demand for flexible-living spaces, also called bonus rooms or multipurpose rooms. In ultracompetitive real-estate markets, flex rooms that serve multiple purposes appeal to buyers looking to trade up for more space but unable to afford the extra square footage. At the same time, younger home buyers see flex rooms as a way to customize their homes. And baby boomers, hoping to age in place, are asking for flex rooms that could someday be a main-floor master bedroom or a suite for a live-in health aide.

Montreal Real Estate Gets Fancy

Valeria Bismar for The Wall Street Journal

For the first time in years, Montreal is a seller’s market. Homes, particularly luxury condos, are selling in unprecedented numbers. Prices are inching upward. And Canada’s second-largest city—long considered underdeveloped compared with Toronto and Vancouver—is seeing a burst of high-end development thanks to a booming economy and increased interest from Chinese buyers and empty nesters.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Blame Canada? Toronto, Vancouver Top Housing Bubble Risks

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Blame Canada? It isn’t just the tune made famous by the South Park movie. It may become a motto among economists if frothy housing values around the world turn into a destabilizing bubble. UBS published its latest global real estate “bubble index” on Thursday, listing the major cities most at risk of housing bubbles. Canada took two of the top four spots.

HOUSE OF THE DAY A Berkeley, Calif., Home For Art and Music

Chris Puterre/Open Homes Photography

The owners enlarged this modern home with the help of the architect who designed it and lived in it first.

GREATER NEW YORK REAL ESTATE New York Landlord Fined $500,000 in Tenant Harassment Probe

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

A New York City landlord will have to pay $500,000 and address a number of building violations as part of a settlement over alleged harassment of tenants, officials said Wednesday.

DESIGN A Downton-esque Getaway on England’s Royal Coast

Andy Sewell for The Wall Street Journal

Ever wanted to live (and sleep) like a lord? Grand estates on England’s Norfolk coast are luring visitors with elegant guest rooms, tasty food grown on the grounds and even glamping sites.