While a forced reliance on rented property has been associated with the millennial experience for a long time now, new stats reveal that this particular housing problem has extended to older generations too.
The number of people in the mid thirties to fifties who rent from private landlords has doubled in the last ten years as an increasing number of middle aged people are finding it difficult to afford buying a house of their own. The proportion of 35 to 55 year olds with a mortgage has also fallen over the same 10 year period, the research found.
Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions as part of the Family Resources Survey found that the proportion of people between 35 and 44 who rent privately doubled from 13 to 26 percent between the years 2006-7 and 2016-17. As for the upper end of the age bracket, the proportion of those renting between the ages of 45 and 55 has also increased from 8 to 14 percent.
Perhaps more expectantly (although, equally depressingly), there were sharp rises found in the proportion of young people renting too with 16-24 year olds jumping from 55 to 73 percent in the last ten years and the proportion of rent reliant 25-34 year olds now being at 46 percent when in 2008 it was almost half at 28 percent.
The cross-generational increase in renting only goes to further the depth of concern surrounding the housing crisis. Thanks to rising house prices, 20 percent of British households are currently renting, with many ending up as what analysts describe as 'accidental renters' - those who have found themselves stuck renting when a long-term relationship has come to an end.
The effect inevitably trickles down to financial stability within the family. According to Shelter, two thirds of families in rented properties wish that their children didn't have to live in rentals and a fifth having had to move from one privately rented home to another in the last five years.
This situation is a big concern for debt charities because as the issue of unaffordable housing prices older generations out of buying and mortgages, there's a increased and complicated financial pressure on maintaining house payments at retirement age.
Some of the study's analysts believe that the focus on young first-time buyers (a focus that hasn't actually made a big enough dent in the housing crisis for millennials, let alone cross generationally) means older tenants with children risk being ignored. However the crux of the issue is a housing market that has grown impenetrable not just for the generation coming out of university in their first and second jobs and struggling to make that first step on the property ladder, but older generations who we're perhaps too quick to assume have housing security on account of just being further on in life.
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