Labelled as the ‘broken boomerang generation’, this article talks about the crisis young adults are experiencing as moving out of their parent’s is just too unaffordable for most.
Louise Eccles, Sian Griffiths and Ademola Bello
Sunday April 17 2022, 12.01am, The Sunday Times
The predicament of the “boomerang generation”, who move out of their parents’ home only to return, has been well documented. But now parents face a new challenge — the “broken boomerang generation”, who are not leaving the family home at all.
Record numbers of adults under the age of 35 live with their parents, according to official data — 100,000 more than before the pandemic.
Analysts predict that the trend will accelerate as the cost of living rises over the coming months, placing rented accommodation or a mortgage out of reach for young professionals.
Last year 3.58 million adults aged between 20 and 35 lived with their parents, 1.1 million more than 20 years ago. Of those living at home, 61 per cent were men. Among people aged 34, men account for 82 per cent of those living at home.
Although some of the recent increase in adults living at home could be a temporary consequence of the pandemic, the Institute for Public Policy Research said it marked a “long-term trend”.
Paula Higgins, of the Homeowners Alliance, said: “It’s a brutal time for younger people who aspire to live away from their parents or own their own front door. It’s disheartening for those looking for independence to see the goalposts being moved further away.”
The average age of a first-time buyer is 32, according to UK Finance, up from 30 a decade ago. However, while property ownership is becoming harder for young people, even renting is out of reach for some.
The average monthly rent is about £969 a month, according to the property website Zoopla, an 8.3 per cent increase since March 2020. Zoopla found that the average rent accounts for 37 per cent of gross income for a single earner.
Shreya Nanda, of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said: “We as a society are failing to create a situation where it’s affordable for young people to move out of home because of our failure to tax property and the gains that older generations who own homes have accrued from property, coupled with a failure to build more homes.”
Nanda, 27, who leads housing affordability research at the institute, is among those affected. She lives with her parents in London because she says it is too expensive to move out. Students are also feeling the impact of the rising cost of living, according to university vice-chancellors. Leaders at Bolton University are so worried about students choosing between food bills and heating that the university has started offering all students a free hot meal three times a week.