The number of adults aged 25-34 living with their parents could be set to grow, as property prices continue to rise, according to a new study from Aviva insurance.
Analysis carried out by the insurer shows that the number of adults in this age group, living with parents, has risen by 37% over a 10 year period, increasing from 903,000 to 1.23 million – anadditional 331,000 people. If this growth pattern continues at the same rate over the next decade, the UK could see a further 452,000 people aged 25-34 living with parents in 10 years’ time.
The number of UK ‘children’ aged 21-34 living with parents has also grown considerably during this period, from 2.2 to 2.9 million, an increase of 29%.
This growing trend of multi-generational living corresponds with a 45% increase in house prices for first-time buyer homes. ONS figures show the cost of the average first UK home has risen from £146,000 to £211,000 over the same period.
The findings are supported by a separate study carried out by Aviva, examining the attitudes of 500 UK ‘children’ aged 16-34 who live with their parents.
This study found that respondents expected to be 28 years of age on average before they moved out – although one in 12 (8%) said they didn’t ever expect to leave their current residence. The proportion of respondents who expected never to move out of the parental home rose to 13% amongst those aged 25-29 and 18% amongst people aged 30-34.
Home-buying is apparently an even bigger challenge. A third of people aged 16-34 said they didn’t expect to ever own a home, and a fifth (21%) predicted they’d only own a home if and when they inherited one. Of those who felt they would own a property one day, 31 was the average age at which they expected to get on the housing ladder.
Happy at home?
When asked how they felt about their current living situation, the majority of adults (47%) living with parents said they were ‘very happy’, while just 16% said they were unhappy with their circumstances. However the number of discontented dwellers increases with age. For adults aged 30-34 still living with parents, the number of ‘very happy’ people falls to 31%, while ‘unhappy’ inhabitants rises to 28%.
There is also an expectation – and a seeming acceptance – of the situation, as 59% of adults living with parents say they expected their domestic arrangements. That said, the proportion of people who are surprised to be living with parents grows with age: 35% of people aged 30-34 aged they did not expect their living circumstances.
Money is key – but one in four ‘children’ like being looked after
When it comes to reasons for living with parents, financial reasons are way ahead of any other considerations. Nearly two thirds (62%) of adult children living with parents say that they can’t afford to move out, while 48% say they live with family to save money.
But there are other practical reasons: nearly a quarter (24%) say they like being looked after, 14% say they are actually looking after their parents and one in 10 (10%) say they are ‘scared’ to move out.
However, the reliance of adult children on their parents for accommodation also brings home the importance of parents’ financial security. A separate study carried out by Aviva in March 2017 found that nearly half (46%) of UK families cannot survive a month on their savings if ill health strikes, while only half of parents with dependent children have arranged life insurance.(5)
Twice as many men aged 25-34 live with parents than women
The proportion of 25-34s currently living with parents who are male far outweighs the number of females in this position, accounting for 68% of the total number (835,000 males compared to 399,000 females).
The Aviva study showed that men are more likely to say they are happy living with their parents, although the differences are relatively minor. Just of half (52%) of men questioned said they were ‘very happy’ with their living situation, compared to 45% of women. One in five (19%) women living with parents said they were actually unhappy with their domestic set-up, compared to 12% of men.
Men were also marginally more likely to say that they liked being looked after by parents (27% vs 23% of women), although women were more likely to say that they were ‘scared’ to move out of the parental home (12% vs 5% of men).
Lindsey Rix, MD, Personal Lines Aviva UK, General Insurance says: “The challenges of getting on the property ladder are well publicised, but it’s startling to see that one in three adults who live with parents expect never to own a property and further fifth believe the only way they will own a home is by inheriting one.
“However there is good news too, as the majority of ‘children’ in this situation are happy with this set-up, so in many cases there may be no desire to leave. If house prices continue to rise at their current rate, we can expect the proportion of adult children living with parents to grow even further.
“As people live with parents for longer there’s every chance that possessions and valuables will grow within that home, so it’s important that residents review their home contents cover regularly to ensure it is adequate for their needs. So whoever is at home, they can have peace of mind that their belongings are covered.”