Huge surge in number of young adults living with parents

Skircoat Green, Halifax
Skircoat Green, Halifax

The number of young adults still living with their parents in Yorkshire has leapt by almost 40 per cent in less than a decade.

Experts pointed to the soaring cost of housing over the past 15 years and the ongoing youth unemployment crisis as key reasons why the number of people aged 20 to 34 living with their parents has risen from 182,000 to 252,000 in Yorkshire since 2006.

The bleak picture is mirrored across the country, with more than 3.3 million young adults now living with their parents according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

That nationwide figure represents a 25 per cent increase since records began in 1996.

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: “Moving out and setting up a home of your own is a normal rite of passage.

“Unless we build more of the right homes at the right prices in the right areas, adult children will be stuck in their childhood bedrooms and parents will be unable to move on with their lives.”

The ONS report highlighted the sharp increase in house prices over the past 18 years when compared with the average income of someone trying to get their first foothold on the property ladder.

It said that in 1996, the average price paid by a first-time buyer for a property was 2.7 times their typical income. But first-time buyers now face having to pay a price for a home which equates to 4.4 times their income. Those able to do so have been forced to stretch out their borrowing further or borrow money from parents to secure a deposit – but many more have been unable to do so.

The Government insists it is doing all it can through schemes such as Help to Buy, which offers people with five per cent deposits a helping hand on or up the property ladder. The scheme has been credited with helping to prompt a resurgence in first-time buyers in recent months, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reporting numbers at their strongest level in six years.

But the CML stressed yesterday that low-deposit borrowing represents only a “modest share” of lenders’ overall business.

Meanwhile, house prices in Yorkshire have begun to surge once again over recent months after several years of stagnation following the banking crash.

Figures published by Nationwide this month showed the average house price in Yorkshire has risen by 7.4 per cent over the last 12 months.

Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said: “The risk is that if demand continues to run ahead of supply in the quarters ahead, affordability may become stretched.

“House price growth has been outstripping average earnings growth since the start of the year.”

The availability of housing is not the only factor behind the trend for more young adults to stay at home, however.

The ONS also made clear the increasing numbers of young people living with their parents has accelerated since the start of the economic downturn.