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“I have no issue with living at home, I like living there and my girlfriend likes living at home.” Why are so many more 20-34-year-olds are failing to flee the nest?

PUBLISHED: 08:33 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:38 22 January 2014

Young at home stats Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

Young at home stats Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

A quarter of 20 to 34 year olds in this region were still living with their parents last year, with the figures hitting an all time high.

Case Study

Ned Vincent, aged 24, has lived with his parents in Litcham, near Dereham, since he was a child.

“My older sister was 18 when she moved out and went to university, but I have stayed living at home because of the situation I have been in.

I have been with my girlfriend for five years and we are trying to decide whether to rent or buy somewhere in the next six to nine months. I couldn’t afford to move out before then.

I don’t have a lot of money to put towards a deposit, but luckily my girlfriend is in a situation where she can.

I didn’t go to university. I went to college and then went straight to work. I have thought about moving out in the past – when I was 17 or 18 me and my best friend wanted to move out together. We looked at a few places but we didn’t do anything about it in the end. Looking back, I don’t think we would have been able to afford it for long.

I think about a third of my friends still live at home. A third rent and a third own their own homes, but they are older and in a better financial situation.

I pay a monthly rent to my parents which, compared to renting somewhere else, is not a lot at all. I contribute around the house as well.

I have no issue with living at home, I like living there and my girlfriend likes living at home. We spend a few nights a week together, either at her parents’ house or at mine.

When I was about 18 my parents asked me to start paying rent and now they know we are moving out in the next six to nine months. They are happy, to my knowledge, with me staying at home until I am ready to move out. But I am sure they don’t want me to be there until I’m 30. If I was still at home when I was 27 or 28, I would find that embarrassing. But we have a plan to move out and we have started putting the wheels in motion.”

According to a study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 274,000 adults aged between 20 and 34 in the East of England were still living with a parent or parents in 2013.

Nationally, more than 3.3 million adults - or 26 per cent of this age group - were still at home.

There has been a huge surge since the earliest recorded figures in 1996, when just 2.7 million 20 to 34-year-olds lived with their parents - 21 per cent of this age group.

This is despite the number of people in the population aged 20 to 34 being largely the same in 1996 and 2013, after a fall between 2002 and 2006.

More men than women still lived at home, with statisticians suggesting that this was because women tended to marry or live with men who were older than them, they were more likely to be lone parents in their own home or move away to study. The ONS study also said the rise may be due to the economic downturn.

“In addition, published figures show that 13 per cent of the economically active population aged 18 to 24 was unemployed during April to June 2008, rising to 19 per cent during April to June 2013. Research shows that the young unemployed are more likely to live in the parental home,” the ONS said.

“In 2013, 49 per cent of 20 to 24-year-olds lived with their parents, compared to 21 per cent of 25 to 29-year-olds and eight per cent of 30 to 34-year-olds. Compared with other age groups over the past five years, the percentage of those aged between 20 and 24 living with their parents has increased most noticeably. In 2008, 42 per cent of 20 to 24-year-olds lived with their parents.”

The rise in young adults living with their parents also coincides with a sharp increase in house prices compared to the average income of someone trying to get their first foothold on the property ladder.

The ONS report 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 as they stretch out their borrowing further or turn to help from the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to help them build a bigger deposit.

National Housing Federation (NHF) 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.”

NHF research carried out last August found that two-thirds, or 66 per cent of parents with an adult child living at home said their child simply could not afford to move out.



  • So Ned in your case study has been living off his parents and plans to live off is girlfriend in the near future! A prime example of whats wrong with the youth of today!

    Report this comment

    banned user

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • It's pretty obvious in my view. Far fewer people actually 'save' money these days. You need to build up a reasonable deposit for a first time mortgage which can take a few years. The trouble is, many people these days live in a "I buy what I want" culture, fuelled by credit cards. I enjoyed a good lifestyle in my 20's but though balanced discipline and patience, also managed to save considerably during this time also. As a consequence, I was able to purchase my first proper home when I was 30. It's easy to blame the economy and lack of wages, but on the whole people need to be far more disciplined with money than what they currently are.

    Report this comment

    Adams is God

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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