Older Parents and Larger Houses
Downsizing is a traditional option for parents whose children have grown old enough to work, or to go to university. In the past, these parents would sell larger homes, and move into two or one bedroom homes, just large enough to accommodate their needs, but much smaller, more cost effective and easier to maintain. However, this tradition has recently been slowing, and even reversing, with new evidence showing that parents of older children are choosing to buy larger homes, rather than smaller ones.
Surveys conducted by Royal Mail into redirected mail show that almost one fifth of parents are moving into a bigger home because they expect to have to accommodate their older children for longer. A questionnaire put to redirected mail applications showed that 21% were choosing a larger property in order to provide a place for their adult children to stay with them. The survey reveals that parents are also willing to wait for longer to find the property they want, with some waiting several months in order to find somewhere to live. The survey suggests that parents are putting the needs of their children above their own interests.
Younger People cut out of the Market
This survey can be even more revealing about the lives of young adults in the UK, when compared with evidence from the Office of National Statistics. That reveals that not only are the numbers of young adults still living with their parents rising (to more than 3 million under 35s in 2013), but so are house prices for small properties.
The rise in the cost of buying their own home, nearly £200,000 now compared to £125,000 just 10 years ago, has made it more likely that young adults are not able to afford their own properties. Wages are just not growing at the same rate as living costs, including house prices. With property ladders becoming more difficult to find, let alone climb, it makes sense for young adults to stay in a house with their parents, and evidence suggests that even those who are renting have little plans to buy their own home – only half agreed that they would buy rather than rent sometime in the future.
Risking the Future?
With parents risking taking out a new mortgage in order to buy larger properties for their children, and even those who don’t buy new properties risking their finances in order to help young adults get onto the property ladder, then it seems as though there is a risk that this parent-property bubble could burst. Parents are more than willing to sacrifice their own finances, it seems, but their buying of larger houses could actually be destabilizing the housing market, driving up prices and extending the length of time that people are unable to afford to step onto the property ladder. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicted that rising house prices could seriously damage financial stability, and it may be that these parents are putting even more pressure on the housing market, the long-term effects of which are still unknown.
James Young is the Founder of London Van Moves which boast a small fleet of removal vans in pristine condition, and all come with a friendly, helpful and professional driver.