Friday, February 08, 2019

Young and staying in the nest

Nearly a million more young adults are living with their parents than was the case two decades ago, a study has found.

The proportion of people aged 20 to 34 who live with their parents has risen from 19.48% in 1997, equating to 2.4 million people, to 25.91% in 2017, equating to 3.4 million. The growth in young people living with their parents has been strongest in London, which saw a 41% increase between 1996-98 and 2014-15.

Daniel Bentley, the editorial director of Civitas, explained,  “Younger people are beginning to live with their parents for longer and are finding it more difficult to move out. If they do move out, they’re often living with larger groups of people.” Bentley said if the government failed to acknowledge the drop in the number of young people moving out or living alone, “it will reinforce an undersupply for housing for decades”.

Average household sizes fell from 3.3 people per household in 1951 to 2.36 in 2001. However, it flatlined at 2.36 in the early 2000s and had risen to 2.39 people per household by 2017, the highest level since 1999.

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, said the report’s findings were a symptom of a housing crisis that prevented young people from striking out on their own. “For young people this means a loss of independence and shattered dreams and reflects that the older generation own more than their fair share of housing wealth,” she said.

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said: “Decades of failed housing policy have meant that young families and people on lower incomes now struggle to find somewhere to live. This is yet another example of how the housing emergency is being felt across society."

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