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Opinion: More adults are living with parents than ever before so what now for the younger generations?





Nearly five million adults have yet to fly the nest – with the UK’s soaring house prices to blame.

Census figures show the numbers living at home soared by 15% to 4.9 million between 2011 and 2021, writes columnist Lauren Abbott.

The housing crisis means more adults than ever still now live at home. Image: iStock.
The housing crisis means more adults than ever still now live at home. Image: iStock.

Only yesterday a segment of Radio 4 was dedicated to the housing crisis after research by the Financial Times and data journalist John Burn-Murdoch found the most common situation for young adults (18-34) is now one in which they live with their parents and not with a spouse and children.

The last time houses were this hard to afford, John’s research suggests, Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Needing large deposits is putting home ownership out of reach. Image: iStock.
Needing large deposits is putting home ownership out of reach. Image: iStock.

It’s a simple fact that many adult offspring can’t afford to live in any home other than the one their parents have.

But yet still people insist on peddling the myth that going without takeaway coffees, the TV subscriptions or the latest smart phone should soon sort it.

In fact one response I read yesterday, suggested that young people today had simply failed to ‘grow-up’. While I have to respect their opinion, I’m not sure induction to adulthood ever required a £50,000 plus deposit but yet seemingly here we are.

Where new houses are under construction, many young people can’t afford them. Image: iStock.
Where new houses are under construction, many young people can’t afford them. Image: iStock.

I’ve also seen some argue this week that many young adults still at home simply haven’t moved out because of ongoing further education. And they’re in fact enjoying the luxury of flitting between two homes – university digs and their parents’ place.

That perhaps – in some cases is true – albeit I’m not entirely sure accruing an average of £45,000 in student debt screams ‘potential homeowner’ either.

One comment left at the bottom of a recent housing story pointed out that a quick search of the internet returned ‘more than 1,000 properties for sale with a minimum of two bedrooms for up to £250,000’.

Where the commentator was also quick to suggest that with a £50k deposit and a 30-year mortgage term it would cost around £1,000 a month at five per cent and ‘often less than what you'd pay to rent something similar’.

Indeed they’re probably right – if only £50,000 deposits were as easy to conjure up as they’d just made it sound.

Many couples can’t find a deposit so are left with little choice but to rent or live at home. Image: iStock.
Many couples can’t find a deposit so are left with little choice but to rent or live at home. Image: iStock.

For many years, generations have comfortably peddled the myth that if you work hard, knuckle down, save and do well then owning your own home would be a straightforward rite of passage.

But as a parent, even if I can raise absolute workhorses, I have absolutely no idea how my children will fund their first homes should things continue they way they are. The decades – and circumstances – during which home ownership grew in this country, I don’t think, will ever be recreated.

I do know though, of families with few intentions of climbing the housing ladder past their first property in order to get their mortgage paid-off as soon as possible to free up cash they can then bank for their offspring and themselves later in life.

But when you look further down that line, and also at the pressures on later-in-life care and the struggle families have in finding affordable options as relatives age, we must fast be producing a generation that face spending more time with their parents than ever before?



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