New research indicates that within just one generation over half of all young adults in Britain will be living with their parents. The report reveals a frightening vision of escalating property prices and higher rents which will mean that moving out is not an option for the under 30’s. The research was the joint project of the homeless charity shelter and tax advisory firm KPMG.
The Great Divide
After a lengthy and painful recession it might seem odd to talk about escalating house prices but they are definitely on the move upwards once more and there are fears that they could spiral out of control. The report warns that average prices could double in the next ten years and even quadruple by 2034 putting all homes beyond the reach of first time buyers. Property would be a luxury only those who have inherited it could enjoy reinforcing the gap between the haves and the have nots.
This would all be very bad news for the younger generation and such a state of affairs could fundamentally change the face of society and the way we live. There could certainly be boom times ahead for architects, window suppliers and builders. If young people are to live at home for longer many families may wish to invest in extensions and other home improvements to help accommodate their adult offspring and to give them more personal space. This in turn could increase the demand for homes which are extendable and push prices for such properties even higher.
The Real Problem
Whilst building contractors, roofers, architects and those who supply windows will be delighted, the picture is rather bleak for everyone else. The report urges a major building offensive for affordable homes because the current plans for development simply won’t match the demand. Personally I find all this rather depressing. Not because I can’t afford a property or because I have children but rather because the situation is indicative of our ever expanding population.
If you build more and more homes the local infrastructures will become more stretched. The roads will be more congested, if such a thing is possible, the shops will have longer queues and it will be increasingly difficult to park. Kids will struggle to find places in good schools, leisure facilities will be overcrowded and just about everything you can think of will be over-subscribed.
The Real Price
Governments work on the imperative to drive economic growth, a growth which would stop in its tracks and a falling population will take more cash from our pockets. I feel that this is a price that we need to pay because the alternative is worse. We can’t just keep cramming more people into our country because if we do the housing problem will never go away and nor will any of the other attendant issues.
Perhaps the issue will resolve itself eventually because if kids have to live at home until their parents pass away and there is no affordable housing on offer people may simply stop having children and immigrants will go elsewhere because Britain is too expensive to contemplate.
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.