The housing and homelessness charity Shelter have appealed for politicians to stop fuelling loan schemes that push up house prices, and instead build more affordable properties for the generation that cannot move out of their parent’s homes.
The charity referred to figures from Census data that reveal there are 1.97 million young adults in England who still live with their parents, and are employed. This equates to a quarter of everyone aged 20-34 in jobs.
A separate study discovered that of 250 young adults who live with their parents, almost half of them are not moving out because they cannot afford to either rent or buy a home, Shelter found.
Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, says: “With the crippling cost of housing leaving over a million young adults trapped in their childhood bedrooms no matter how hard they work or save, empty nest syndrome could soon become a thing of the past.
“The clipped wing generation are finding themselves with no choice but to remain living with mum and dad well into adulthood, as they struggle to find a home of their own. And those who aren’t lucky enough to have this option instead face a lifetime of unstable, expensive private renting.
“Rather than pumping more money into schemes like Help to Buy, we need bolder action that will meet the demand for affordable homes and not inflate prices further.
“From helping small local builders find the finance they need, to investing in a new generation of part rent, part buy homes, the solutions to our housing shortage are there for the taking.”1
Some areas are more heavily affected by this problem, according to Shelter.
Why are Young Adults still Living at Home?
Castle Point in Essex sees 45% of their employed 20-34 year olds still living at home, while in Knowsley in Merseyside, the number is 42%.
The amount of young people still living with their parents in Solihull is 38%.
Sarah, 32, lives with her parents at their family home in Croydon. She works in online advertising, but has ended up living on and off with her mum and dad for the last decade.
She says: “I’m trying really hard to save up and get my own place, but today’s rollercoaster house prices means the goal posts keep moving.
“If I move out now, the reality is I’ll be stuck paying expensive rents for the rest of my life. I know I’m lucky to have a job and somewhere to live, but the thought that I’m going to be living like a teenager into my late 30s or even 40s is really disheartening.”1
Sarah’s fears are highlighted in the fact that those renting will spend about 30% of their income on housing, whereas homeowners pay just 20% on their house, says the English Housing Survey.
The proportion of young people in rental accommodation has been increasing, as house prices rise steadily, and most are priced out of the market.
This is accentuated in London, where the cost of rent has risen by over 11% in the past year, and the average annual income is only 2.23 times higher than the annual cost of renting, reveals the HomeLet rental index.
Average monthly rents in London is a staggering £1,142, more than double that in the rest of the UK, where rents cost an average of £694 a month.
Property values were also up in London, by a huge 20.1%, giving the average property a value of £492,000, comparing to £262,000 in the rest of Britain, a rise of 10.5% annually.