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Grown-up children unable to flee the family nest
A quarter of parents in the region are feeling the squeeze because their grown-up sons and daughters are unable to fly the nest, according to new figures.
The National Housing Federation has warned that empty nest syndrome is now a thing of the past, as rents, mortgages and deposits soar out of reach for would-be first-time buyers, leaving grown-up children stuck living with their parents well into their 20s and 30s.
A poll conducted on behalf of the Federation revealed that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the region’s parents with grown-up children still have at least one adult child living at home.
The majority of these said their children were there because they simply couldn’t afford to move out.
And the future looks bleak, with first-time-buyer house prices expected to increase by 28 per cent and rents set to soar by 50 per cent by 2020.
The Federation is now urging people to contact their local councillors and ask for more affordable housing to be built, to ease the pressure on families.
Rob Warm, the Federation’s Yorkshire lead manager, said: “Moving out and setting up a family home of your own is a normal rite of passage. Yet as rents, mortgages and deposits continue to soar out of reach, it is no longer an option for many.
“As a country, we need to build more homes at the right prices in the right areas now to ensure there is another option.”
While many Yorkshire parents said having an adult child at home had brought them closer together or brought them a lot of happiness, others said it caused them stress and to fall into debt.
The regional trend was reflected in Bradford when the Telegraph & Argus conducted a snapshot survey yesterday in the city centre.
David Scobbie, 22, a banker, from Pudsey, provided a classic example of the issue raised by the Housing Federation.
The 22-year-old said: “I’m still living at home, not through choice, but because I just can’t afford to pay a deposit on a house. I want to buy and I’m willing to wait, as I think renting is just a waste of money. I’ll get there eventually, but it is frustrating.”
Craig Peel, 22, a HSBC graduate trainee, was experiencing a similar challenge getting onto the property ladder. He said: “I still live with my parents in Pontefract at the moment, but I’m hoping to move to Bradford city centre next year. I’ll have to rent, as the costs to buy at the moment are just crazy. I’d have no chance of getting anywhere.”
Javaad Alipoor, 29, a community theatre leader, who lives in Bolton Road, Bradford, said: “I just rent, because raising a deposit is far too difficult. Friends of mine have been quoted around £15,000 at least.
“House prices now are just insane. I grew up on Thorpe Edge and houses that were worth 20 or 30 grand are now going for ten times that amount. Some landlords have done very well from the death of social housing.”
Luke Charlwood, 24, Santander technical adviser, of Five Lane Ends, said: “The government have introduced this help-to-buy scheme, but it is just a loan on top of a loan. The cost of living at the moment is completely unfeasible.
“There’s no affordable housing out there, especially for young families with no inheritance or savings.”
Clinton Anokam, 19, a student from Ash Grove, Shearbridge, said: “Being able to buy is simply not an option for people leaving university. Housing costs are just far too expensive. I know plenty of students who already know they’ll have to move back to their parents when they finish.”
Before the recession hit, Craig Berry was just one telephone call away from owning his dream home.
He had saved up just enough for a deposit and had found an ideal starter home when he received a call from the bank saying they were pulling their mortgage offer.
Craig said: “The house was like a small, little cottagey-type place, so it was just perfect for one person.
“Then the mortgage was withdrawn because of the recession.
“I was absolutely gutted, because I already knew what I wanted to do with the house.”
Five years on, 27-year-old Craig is still stuck in a tiny six-by-seven foot bedroom in dad Ian’s home in Wibsey. But he’s not the only one – his two grown-up sisters Jenna, 23, and Danielle, 22, are still there too, and they have to share a bedroom.
All three siblings work and are desperately trying to save enough to buy places of their own.
Craig said: “I get on well with my dad but I know he finds it stressful still having us living at home, especially when arguments kick off.
“He raised us all on his own and I’m sure he imagined we’d all have left home by the time we were 18. I think he’d like to downsize if he could – he deserves the break.
“Four grown adults all living under one roof is too much, my sisters are still having to share a bedroom.”
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