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Housing

Millennials spend three times as much on housing as their grandparents

New think tank report reveals the scale of intergenerational unfairness

The housing crisis has gotten so bad for young people in Britain today that one group of experts have renamed it a “housing catastrophe.”

Millennials are now spending more than three times as much as their grandparents on housing costs, according to a new report by the Resolution Foundation.

While people born before 1945 spent just 7% of their annual income on housing, millennials (born after 1981) are forced to devote 23% of their earnings to housing costs, on average.

And the money is going on more cramped accommodation.

The Resolution Foundation found that millennial-headed households are more likely than previous generations to live in overcrowded conditions, and the average floor space used by someone under the age 45 has shrunk 4% since 1996.

Many of today’s young people are getting less for their money

Depressingly, the report’s authors say that if trends seen in the past decade continue, less than half of millennials will buy a home before the age of 45 compared to over 70 per cent of baby boomers who had done so by that age.

The think tank’s report “Home Affront” paints a grim and striking picture of a nation moving backwards.

Among its other main findings:

  • Millennials are more likely to be living with their parents in their mid-20s than previous generations.
  • Young families headed by 30-year-olds are only half as likely to own their home as the baby boomer generation was at the same age.
  • Four out of every ten 30 year olds now rent privately, compared to one in ten 50 years ago.

“For many older people affordability increases earlier in their lives went hand in hand with improved security…as well as vast improvements in the housing stock,” said the report’s authors.

“In contrast, many of today’s young people are getting less for their money when we look at their housing experience in terms of space, security and quality of life.”

Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, said young people “have realised they’ve inherited the certainty of those sky high housing costs in exchange for the possibility of inheriting some of that wealth, probably long after its much use to them. Understandably they don’t think that’s a great deal.”

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