Why it’s harder than ever to leave the nest

By Nathan Rowden | Telford | Property | Published:

The number of young people who are staying at home with their parents into their 30s has increased significantly in recent years.

Marina Hulke at home in Telford – her son moving back in has helped her

By the time you reach your 30s, most people will probably want to have flown the nest.

Living with your parents a decade beyond the end of your teenage years is not part of most people’s life plans.

But increasingly, it’s exactly the reality many young people are facing as they find themselves priced out of the housing market.

Research by thinktank Civitas found that nearly one million more young people are living with their parents than was the case two decades ago.

The study, released earlier this year and using figures from the Office for National Statistics, found the proportion of people aged 20 to 34 who still live with their folks has risen from 19.48 per cent in 1997, equating to 2.4 million people, to 25.91 per cent in 2017, or 3.4 million.

It is often easier for people to buy homes while living with their parents

Geoff Wilkes is a mortgage and financial advisor based in Wolverhampton and he says that it is easier for people to buy homes while living with their parents rather than moving into the rental market first.

“In that situation it’s easier for people to save,” he says. “I think buying a home is still feasible for people.


“You can get five per cent deposits, and that can come in the form of a family gift.

“If you are say looking at a house that is £120,000 then you would only need about £6,000 plus legal costs.

“There is still a bit of bank of mum and dad of course but there are also things like Help-To-Buy ISAs which really are the best way to save.

“It’s easier to get a mortgage if you have another person to buy with, of course because you have two incomes, but there is also a new type of mortgage where you can have a joint mortgage but the property would be in sole ownership.


“So if a parent was to get the mortgage with the child there would be two incomes, but with the child the owner of the house.”

But for some families getting a deposit is not practical, and in some circumstances children living at home can be mutually beneficial.

Marina Hulke at home in Telford

In Telford, 60-year-old mum Marina Hulke lives with her son Tom in a three-storey house which she bought for herself and her three teenage children 22 years ago.

“When I first bought this house for myself and three teenage children it was ideal because we were all on different floors,” she says. “Down the bottom we would have one type of music, the middle floor another type, and on the top another.

“I thought this is how it’s going to be – I’m going to have my kids here and maybe their families too as we had girlfriends and boyfriends move in over the years and it was all great. I had the intention that the family would always be here.”

Tom, who is now 37, moved back with Marina to help himself get back on his feet after a motorbike accident.

“The reason he came back was two fold. Initially he was struggling where he was before,” she said. “But then secondly, because of a result of the accident he wasn’t able to work, so he’s been out of work for seven years. He needed somewhere to be. He now has a full time job and he’s happy.”

When she bought the house, Marina was single, but has since been married and become single again, so having Tom living at home helps her.

Marina Hulke at home in Telford

Tom pays Marina a lump sum each month to help towards the mortgage, food and bills, whereas before that Marina was struggling on half the income the household had been getting before her marriage break-up, and she took on a second job to help her through.

The arrangement with her son, therefore, benefits them both.

“The mortgage at the time I bought the house was cheap,” she said. “When I got married we re-mortgaged which tripled the amount I had been paying. Him being here means I don’t have to sell my house.

“If he wanted to eventually move out then of course he has that option. It would make things a bit interesting for me in terms of being able to afford to live here.

“If he wasn’t here I would have to have people in like lodgers and I don’t fancy that idea and it would make me feel uncomfortable.”

Marina says there are no issues in terms of conflict in the house. Tom has the bottom floor, and she has a living room and her room on a different floor. The only shared rooms are the kitchen and bathroom.

“I feel like I have my space,” she says. “It’s not like we’re sat in the evening arguing over control of the remote. That doesn’t happen.”

But she does have a couple of rules.

“He’s a smoker but he’s only allowed to smoke in the kitchen because there’s an extractor,” she said. “It’s a bit of give and take really because it’s his home as well, not just mine.

“He does jobs around the house too. Although like any chap I probably have to ask half a dozen times before it gets done!” she laughs.

“The only real change was the milk I buy. I now buy blue top milk now because that’s what he drinks. But it’s not a big deal, is it?”

Nathan Rowden

By Nathan Rowden

Senior news feature writer based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Telford. I like to get out, meet people and tell their stories.


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