Housing

High rent is forcing young people to live with their parents for longer

A study has found a lack of social housing was also to blame for half of 23-year-olds still living at home

A young person, seen from above, sits on the floor looking through a stack of bills in front of a laptop

Half of 23-year-olds in the UK still live with their parents, a study has found – up 12 per cent since the late ’90s.

Research by think tank Civitas showed the number of young adults yet to leave home is a million more than in 1998.

The highest rate of 20 to 34-year-olds is in London (41 per cent), where property and rent is most expensive. The correlation works both ways – north east England (14 per cent) and Yorkshire (17 per cent) reported the fewest young adults still under mum and dad’s roof.

Civitas editorial director Daniel Bentley said: “As owner-occupation and social housing have each become more difficult to enter, hundreds of thousands of young adults have taken one look at the high rents in the private rented sector and decided to stay with their parents a bit longer instead.”

A quarter of those aged between 20 and 34 now live with their parents.

The shift was so significant that average household sizes, previously on a steady downward trend for most of the last century, stalled in the noughties.

In some areas, the average is growing – likely a result of both young people remaining with their parents for longer, and a spike in those who share with flatmates or a partner when they do move out. Bentley said young people were “much more inclined” to share a home with peers than in the 1990s.

Today’s new ties in with research showing that the number of people living alone continues to drop, currently sitting at 30 per cent (1.3 million), also because of unaffordable property and rent prices.

The Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, Cllr Martin Tett, said: “These figures show that our national housing shortage remains one of the most pressing issues we face, especially for young people, who are increasingly unable to afford their own place.

“Councils want to ensure that a mix of homes to rent and buy are affordable and available for those people that need them. By recently lifting the housing borrowing cap, the Government has accepted our call for councils to play a leading role in solving our housing crisis.

“A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding would not only boost housing supply, but increase affordability and the number of people able to get on the housing ladder. For that to happen, councils also need to be able to set Right to Buy discounts locally and keep 100 per cent of their sales receipts to replace every home sold.”

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