More young people are living with their parents

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More young people are living with their parents, the ONS Families & Households Report 2018 has found.

In 2018, one in four young adults aged 20 to 34 years were estimated to live with their parents. In total 3.4 million young adults live with their parents, 24% more than 2.7 million in 2008.

Andrew Montlake, managing director mortgage broker Coreco, said: “The fact that 24% more young adults were living with their parents in 2018 compared to 2008 is not just statistically significant, it is a damning indictment of the property market today.

“Rents have soared, especially in major cities, while the first rung of the property ladder is out of reach given the sizeable deposits now required.

“In the capital, only young people with high paid jobs and easy access to the Bank of Mum and Dad have got a chance of owning a home. And that’s after the price falls of recent years.

“Sadly, the weakness of the construction sector at present means the situation is likely to be exacerbated in the short to medium-term.

“The solution, we all know, is to build more affordable homes but we’re simply not doing so at the required rate. In the meantime, Brexit has cast a long shadow over the housebuilding sector.

“For 3.4 million young adults to be living with their parents is proof positive that the property market, despite the policies and initiatives of numerous governments, is fundamentally broken.”

However, the increases seen in the number of young adults living with their parents since 2013 are much more gradual than the increases in previous years.

Over the past two decades, young men have always been more likely than young women to live with their parents.

In 2018, 31.4% of men aged 20 to 34 years and 19.9% of women aged 20 to 34 years were living with their parents. This is likely because women tend to marry at younger ages than men and it is possible that women are also more likely to cohabit at younger ages than men.

Besides the increased costs in renting or buying a home, other reasons for larger numbers of young adults tending to stay at home for longer may include staying in education and training for longer, formalising relationships and having children at older ages.

In 2018, one-person households represented 29% of all households, but the most common household type was one-family households representing two-thirds of all households (66.8%).

The remaining household types, households with two or more unrelated adults and multi-family households, represented a much smaller share of total households at 3% and 1.1% respectively.

One-family households have increased by 6.9% since 2008, reaching 18.4 million in 2018.

There has been a significant increase in pensioners living on their own – those aged 65 and over living alone has rose by half a million people to 3.9 million between 2008 and 2018, an increase of 14.8%.

Will Hale, chief executive at equity release adviser Key, added: “This may be down to the ‘home for life’ mentality which the Equity Release Council (ERC) cited in a recent report, with 72% of over-45 homeowners wanting to live in their current property for as long as they can, with this desire only growing stronger with age: rising to 77% among those aged 65-74 and 89% beyond 75.

“The ONS data also shows that average household sizes continue to rise – with more adult children still living at home.

“Indeed, the recent ERC figures show that one in five over-45s and nearly one in ten in the 65+ age group permanently share their home with their children.

“While this is obviously financially advantageous to the younger generation, there are wider societal benefits as older members of the family gain the assistance and company, they might otherwise miss.

“Almost half (41%) of over-45s are looking to invest in home improvements in the next year and some of this investment is certainly likely to be to accommodate family members – providing support for the whole family and improving everyone’s standard of living.

“Equity release is not right for everyone but if housing equity is a retiree’s largest asset it is vital that they at least consider the role it might play.

“Good advice is key to ensuring that older homeowners receive the most benefit from their property wealth and use it in the most appropriate way, whether they are helping families, improving their own homes or clearing debts.”

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