Roll the clock back 20 years and any self-respecting late 20/early 30 year old would never say on their first date that they lived with their parents. Failure to leave the family home was seen as a sign of immaturity. Yet, over these last two decades, the age of leaving home has been increasing steadily from 20 years and 11 months in the late 1990’s to 22 years and 7 months today.
However, as with all statistics, the devil is in the detail. Although the age of leaving home has only risen by 8% between 1997 and today, those that didn’t leave home in their early 20’s tended to stay much, much longer.
In 1997, 11.26% of 25-34 year olds still lived at home with their parents, yet last year that had risen to 15.74%, an increase of 391,000 ‘stay at home’ Millennials
However, before we deride these Millennials for not yet having flown the nest I would say those very same Millennials (the mid 20’s to 30 year olds) have been pragmatic, being attracted to sacrificing independence in order to achieve their long-term life goals as they have seen rents rise and an inability to save for the mortgage deposit. All of this has seen the first-time buyer levels, in this millennial age range, rise for the last three years … so good news for everyone!
However, is all that about to change?
Just as parents in Staines-upon-Thames had thought their late 20 /early 30 year old offspring had flown the nest, Covid-19 has blown some of them back into the nest. In March, the lockdown saw many Millennials flee the big UK cities, with their constrained and poky shared HMO’s and flat shares, swapping their city centre private rented home for their parents’ Staines-upon-Thames home.
Many remote workers are unenthusiastic and disinclined to return to the big cities (fearful of a second lockdown) and many of them are deciding to stay put too! A recent YouGov poll asked Millennials of private rented homes what their plans were and 1 in 6 tenants planned to hand their notice in on their rented home and fly back to the family nest. The advantages are quite plain, especially as it could enable them to save for a deposit to buy their future home.
There are 11,125 households in Staines-upon-Thames, made up of 3,295 single person households and 6,967 family households (the remainder being made up of shared houses etc.)
Yet how many of those Staines-upon-Thames family households had non–dependent children before Covid-19?
1,125 Staines-upon-Thames households have children that haven’t flown the nest
That’s 16.1% of Staines-upon-Thames families whose children are still to leave home … and it’s only going to get worse!
So, what does this mean for Staines-upon-Thames homeowners and Staines-upon-Thames landlords?
It will mean that Staines-upon-Thames parents and their children will get to know each other better, build stronger relationships and will enable their children, if they are wise, to save for their deposit for their first home purchase – who knows maybe in Staines-upon-Thames, as working from home could become the norm.
Also, with remote working, many tenants are looking for properties with outside space which could translate into greater demand for properties with gardens. It will also change the property needs of those Staines-upon-Thames parents whose children have remained at home and could mean, instead of those parents downsizing, they could end up staying where they are for longer or even moving up market.
Now of course these polls could be a load of hot air! What I do know is that this pandemic has not played out yet and only time will tell if this will make a concrete change to the way people live, rent and buy property.
These are interesting times and thank you for reading this. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this matter and, in the meantime, stay safe and well.