In Brief

Why are so many young adults living with their parents?

A million more 20 to 34-year-olds are staying at home longer

A million more young adults are living with their parents than 15 years ago, according to official figures.

New data from the Office for National Statistics showed that a quarter of those aged 20 to 34, approximately 3.4m people, were still in their family home last year. In 2008 that figure was 2.7m, in 2003 it was just 2.4m.

The Times says that Britain’s “high rents and house prices” are responsible. Average house prices increased by more than 75% between 2003 and last year, from £126,152 to £223,612.

Meanwhile, the average weekly rent in England has risen in the past decade from £153 to £193.

Andrew Montlake, of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “Rents have soared, especially in major cities, while the first rung of the property ladder is out of reach given the sizeable deposits now required.”

The new data will increase pressure on the government to address the shortage of affordable starter homes. The government has a target to build 300,000 more homes a year, but the present rate is just under 200,000.

The number of homes being built has not kept pace with population growth and the growing trend of people living alone.

Another factor for the trend is that young people are staying in education longer and starting a family later.

There is a gender imbalance in the figures, says the ONS. It calculates that 2.1m young men, 31.4% of those aged between 20 and 34, were living with their parents. The figure for young women was 1.3m, or 19.9%.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told YourMoney.com: “Your ‘empty nest’ may be decidedly more crowded than you’d expected, because young people are proving tough to dislodge from the family home.

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