News The boomerang generation!

Published by Lewis on 22nd May, 2017

You've heard of baby boomers, but have you heard of the boomerang generation? Data from ONS apparently shows that 1.23 million people aged between 25 and 34 live with in their parents' home. The term 'boomerang generation' is used to reflect the usual trend of leaving for university or work, but returning home as independent living proves to be financially difficult, and has been on the increase.

The number of 25-34 year olds who live with parents has increased by 40% in the last ten years, coinciding with 45% growth in house prices, and comparative wage stagnation. The trend is expected to continue, as the challenges of getting onto the property ladder remain. As the number is expected to reach 2.2 million by 2025, one has to wonder whether parents have been expecting this, are happy with this, and are even able to cope?

Whether this is problematic in practice does come down to individual circumstances and families. For households who are able to support their children, there may be less difficulty than a household that is already pressurised financially. Presumably many of the 'baby boomers' who are now approaching retirement age did not expect to be cohabiting with their children at this point.

The increase in the availability of mortgage guarantor schemes, government help to buy schemes, and shared ownership arrangements is important as these all have a role to play in getting more young people into their own homes. Ministers have spoken about the idea of inheritance skipping a generation, but this seems to be a solution only on a small scale, and unlikely to address the wider issue.

More needs to be done to increase the building of new homes in the UK, to ease affordability issues that are almost certainly keeping children dependent for longer than in the past. As we move toward this general election, keep an eye out for what plans politicians put out there for delivering new homes.