A recent survey conducted by the price comparison website MoneySupermarket.com revealed an increase in the number of young adults aged 20-34 who live with their parents or are returning back home to live them. As the cost of living soars and it remains increasingly difficult to obtain that first rung on the property ladder, the comfort of living ‘back home’ may be tempting or necessary.
The Office for National Statistics says that the figure has risen over the past 15 years, and a quarter of young adults (and sometimes their partner and/or children) now live with their parents. The MoneySupermarket survey found that many adults who return home are enjoying the comforts of home-cooked meals, a full fridge that they often don’t have to pay for themselves, plus cleaning and laundry all being covered by the ‘hotel of mum and dad’, as it is being called.
Parents have to consider the extra costs of heating, electricity, water, food, toiletries, etc and this can all add up over time. Even with adult children paying rent it is often only a percentage of the actual cost. The survey found that parents often sacrificed holidays or luxuries because their adult children had returned and they had to return to budgeting for extra mouths to feed. Last year, on average, adult offspring returned on average for 9.7 months with some parents incurring costs of around £895. In 2019 so far, it looks on track for ‘kidults’ to stay for even longer.
So why are more adults returning back home?
The survey questioned 500 adults who had moved back in with their parents and 500 parents who had adult children living back with them.
Spokeswoman for Moneysupermarket.com, Emma Craig, said that parents felt a responsibility to help their children when they were struggling with finances.
“I think what we are seeing is more young people with more debt so when they’re going back to their parents, they’re coming with higher student loans, probably credit card debt, maybe payday loans. So the reason parents are paying more is they’re trying to look after their children more. If your child comes home and you see them struggling financially, you feel more awkward asking them for rent or to contribute. It tugs on your heartstrings.”
Debt is also a significant reason for adult children to return home as the survey found that 18% moved back home to save money. This year so far, 12% of young adults moved home after losing their job, compared to 7% in 2018.
Parents also reported having to redecorate their home and upgrade their WiFi to accommodate their adult offspring. A young adult returning home can also mean parents putting their own plans on hold, such as enjoying more holidays, relaunching a career or simply taking more time to enjoy life after children have flown the nest. The extra stress and pressure of having to finance them again can lead to tensions all round.
The dynamic of young adults living in the family home can be quite different from having dependent children at home, particularly in areas such as the bathroom and distribution of chores.
It is important to remember that a lot of adult children returning home are doing so because they have little or no option. The cost of running a home and paying rent can leave very little money left over, so many are opting to pay minimal rent at their parents home whilst saving at the same time. In many areas of the UK, living at home is often the only way to save enough money for a house deposit to get on the property ladder.
If you’ve saved enough to buy your first home, make sure a Chartered Surveyor provides you with a building survey.