17th July 2019

Adult children living at home - the ‘Artful Lodgers’ - cost parents £1,780 a year

  • Adult children living at home costs parents an average of £1,780 a year in added household expenses
  • Coined ‘The Artful Lodgers’, this generation lives at home well into adulthood
  • 69% of parents feel positive about having adult children at home, but 13% say it puts pressure on their finances, and one in ten admit it has put pressure on their relationship with their partner

Adult children living at home costs parents an average of £1,780 a year in added household expenses, according to the new Modern Life Report by Fidelity International1.

Despite this added cost, two-thirds (69%) of parents with adult children living at home describe their living arrangement positively. Half of parents love having children at home and wish that they could stay forever, and 42% feel fortunate to be in a position where they can continue to support their children. However, it’s not positive for all. Adult children living at home puts pressure on household finances (13%), relationships (10%) and, given the option, 12% of parents would like their children to move out.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that living with parents is now the most common living arrangement for young adults. Coined ‘The Artful Lodgers’ - due to the canny way they are cutting costs by lodging with their parents - there are 3.4m young adults living with their parents in total, and 88,000 of those are over the age of 302

The reasons behind this shift are numerous, but cost remains the key factor. Two-thirds (66%) of people in their 20’s and 30’s don’t feel prepared to buy a home, with 55% of those in this age range putting this down to the financial commitment.

Despite this, those in their 20s and 30s remain optimistic about home ownership. Two in three (69%) of people in their 20s believe it is likely they will own a home and 48% of people in their 30s feel the same. It’s not until people reach their 40s that the dream of home ownership falls, when just 18% non-home-owners of people believe they will ever own a property.

Tom Stevenson, investment director for Personal Investing at Fidelity International, said: “Owning your own home remains a high priority for many people, of all ages. Renting can feel like throwing money away and the flexibility it offers is no substitute for the feeling of security that comes with owning your own home.

“Today’s elevated house prices mean getting on the property ladder requires careful planning and some hard saving. The Artful Lodger generation can put significant sums of money aside by living with parents rent-free. To maximise investments over longer periods of time, hopeful buyers should invest in shares which have historically outperformed safer assets like bonds and cash.

“For parents, too, helping out with a down-payment, acting as the Bank of Mum and Dad or matching a child’s savings are great ways to help them take their first step on the ladder.”

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