Staying up to date with the latest jargon is never easy. A new term seems to appear every year. Just when you think you have mastered the latest buzzwords, another expression gains in popularity.

If you want to keep up-do-date with some of the new terms in 2016, here is a light-hearted jargon-busting guide with words and phrases from the property world.

Property guardian: as showcased by the new Channel 4 sitcom Crashing (, which is set in a disused hospital. A property guardian is someone who, for a modest rent, house-sits an empty property.

Reverse downsizers: retirees moving closer to cities rather than further from cities.

Pet-staging: some agents might include cats or dogs in their photographs to give the property a more family-friendly feel.

Home-staging: preparing a house, so it looks its best when it goes on the market. This may involve a lick of paint or a mini-makeover. Think feature walls, fresh flowers and coffee pods.

Period features: this can be anything from original fireplaces and cornices to beams or wooden panelling.

Generation Rent: a collective noun for anyone under 35 who lives in a rental property.

Creatives: a generic term for people employed in a wide range of professions, from acting and PR, to those coming up with the latest TV commercials.

Millenials: a collective noun for anyone under 35 who is technologically savvy.

Branded residences: apartments that are for sale under a well-known name. It might be a luxury hotel brand or even a car manufacturer.

Live/work property: any house with a study, however small, which can be used as a mixed-use property (see below).

Mixed-use property: we are going to hear a lot of this one in 2016, with mixed-use properties exempt from the forthcoming April increases in stamp duty (although some fine-tuning is likely). A domestic residence where anyone has done anything other than live, could potentially be re-branded as ‘mixed-use’.

Tyre-kickers: people who arrange to view properties, but are probably no more serious about buying them, than people checking out Ferraris in a car showroom.

A snug: this is usually a smaller room that is cosy, cute, or contains state-of-the-art gadgets from a larger-than-average TV screen, to surround-sound. An open-fire or a log-burning stove awaits.

Every industry has its jargon. Some words weave their way into our general vocabulary, then fall out of fashion a few months, or years later.
You may never talk “estate-agent speak” fluently unless you have worked in the industry. But, pay close attention and you should hopefully avoid any major linguistic misunderstandings.

Tell us your favourites or maybe least favourite terms that are not included above. We will add the best to the list. [email protected].