Long gone are the days of our parents’ generation, when you could afford to buy a house in your twenties. House prices have been steadily increasing over the past few years, and this has had the biggest impact on young people, who often cannot become independent even after graduation.
According to The Guardian, the number of young adults living with their parents has increased by one million during the last two decades. As of 2019, 25.91% of young people in the United Kingdom still live with their parents. On average, young people living outside of London will save up to £5,871 each year by going back home.
However, this trend is not something new. Southern Europe countries have been experiencing this crisis on a larger scale for several years now. A great example of this is Spain, where an alarming 53% of adults between 25 and 29 years old still live with their parents.
These southern countries have always had late emancipation rates, but the fact that this problem has spread to countries where youngsters could enjoy earlier independence – such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark – shows there is a real problem haunting all young adults, regardless of the culture.
The main issue young graduates have to face is the great gap between their salaries and cost of living independently.
The average starting salary for graduates in the UK is £30,000, while the average rent in the city for a one-bedroom flat is £650. In London, this figure rockets up to an average of £850. This forces many young adults, who were already independent during their time at university, back to their parents’ home. The average house price in the United Kingdom is £226,234, which has made the average first-time-homeowner age increase since 1960, being 30 as of 2018.
Despite government initiatives such as mortgage schemes and buying incentives, fewer young adults are interested or able to buy a house.
This trend is having a negative impact on population growth, as the inability of young people to become independent is directly linked to the decreasing number of babies being born in the United Kingdom.
One of the main consequences of this situation is the impact it has in young people’s wellbeing. Ever since we are young, we are presented with some life expectations many of us will be unable to fulfil. After getting into debt by going to university, many graduates will be forced to go back to living with their parents. This can have a serious impact on their confidence and mental health.
Parents are also affected negatively by this situation, as they have to maintain their children for longer than they initially expected. Although many parents do charge their children for staying at home, making them help to pay the rent and other living costs, over half of them charge nothing at all.
Despite this discouraging situation, many youngsters are still positive they will be able to afford to buy a house after their twenties. Life has changed considerably since the 1980s, and the fact that you have to go back to live with your parents does not mean you have failed. This situation has become an opportunity for many youngsters to achieve the financial stability they need to finally become completely independent.
Image: [The Cheat Sheet]