Moving back home to live with parents is on the rise in the UK; in fact, the generation that does so has been given a name: 'boomerang kids'. It's even been given a Wikipedia page, where it's described as an 'arrangement [that] can take many forms, ranging from situations that mirror the high dependency of pre-adulthood to highly independent, separate-household arrangements.'
And the numbers of boomerang kids are not inconsiderable: there were 618,000 more young adults living with their parents in 2015 than in 1996 – 3.3 million compared with 2.7 million, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (opens in new tab).
It's easy to pinpoint the reasons, with the rates of home ownership among young adults steadily decreasing, wages stagnating, and living costs increasing. Moving back in with mum and dad may not be what anyone plans, but is becoming increasingly common.
But moving back home doesn't mean kidults get away without paying rent, even if it does make good financial sense, at least in the short term. A recent survey by Barratt Homes (opens in new tab) of 1,000 adults with 'boomerang children' who have moved back home asked about their expectations in terms of financial contribution from their adult children.
The overwhelming majority – 98 per cent – believe that kids should contribute, but how much varies significantly between different areas of the UK. Parents in Southampton have the highest financial expectations, charging their adult offspring around £140 a month in rent and bills, while the most generous parents are to be found in Sheffield, where parents expect nearly half that amount at £77.95 a month.
These are very low sums, even in the most 'expensive' areas, when compared to the average costs of renting privately in those areas. In London, for instance, parents tend to charge just 8 per cent of the typical cost of living in the area (including rent), while in Bristol, Edinburgh, and Manchester, children living with parents contribute an average of just 13 per cent of the typical living costs in those cities.
Parents whose children are living with them help them save impressive sums – between £7,000 and £9,000 a year. Interestingly, the wealthiest parents (those with a combined income of £75,000) request the highest levels of financial contribution from their children, despite having the highest levels of disposable income.
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