For many young adults, moving out of the family home and choosing to study away at university is the first step towards independence. However, most graduates don’t anticipate the situation where they will have to move back home after they have completed their studies.
Every year, more and more graduates are flying back to the nest, being forced to move back in with mum and dad to due to soaring rent prices and a hostile job market. Students choose higher education in the hopes of making walking into a job straight after university easier.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, with recent figures revealing that youth unemployment has increased by a further 15,000 to reach 973,000. Even those who are successful in getting a job straight after university are struggling financially, thanks to rent prices increasing a further 1.3 per cent and graduate salaries lower than they should be, a result of the tough competition for a grad position. This often leaves the graduate no option but to move back home, especially if they ever want to ever be able to afford their own house deposit.
According to The Telegraph, 1.6 million people in their 20s and 30s are still living with their parents and The Government’s English Housing Survey found that between 2008 and 2011, a third of first-time buyers were over the age of 34. And it gets worse, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation predicts that the housing situation will only worsen in the years to come, estimating that the number of people under 30 living with their parents will increase by roughly 550,000 in 2020 and the number of home-owners will almost halve.
While moving back home might have the common perception of being cushy – with home cooked meals, laundry taken care of, little or no rent at all and a warm place to stay, the question is, is moving back home really that comfortable?
After living independently for three or more years at university, returning home can certainly take some adjustment – going from doing whatever you like, whenever you like to suddenly having your routine clash with your parents can feel like a huge step backwards.
Living back with your parents is likely to restrict your freedom – whether it’s constant questioning like “where are you going?” or being told you need to be home by a certain time. What’s more, your days of being a social butterfly from the comfort of your own home are likely over – bringing lots of friends over any time of the day or having a massive ‘pre drinks’ party at the weekend is probably no longer an option, no matter how much you want to cling onto your student lifestyle.
Obviously, the living situation depends on your parent’s nature, but living in such a close proximity with your parents after three or more years apart will more than likely, at some point, take its toll and cause some kind of rift in your relationship – making it a stressful and a not so comfortable living experience for both you and your parents. So how can graduates get out of this living situation and book their moving companies as soon as possible?
Sure, graduates have the option to go into shared accommodation and the media constantly reminds us of the different housing schemes that are being implemented by the government to help ‘Generation Y’ get on to the property ladder. For example, The ‘Help to buy home ownership scheme’ is the most recently discussed- but in reality, is it really that much easier to get a mortgage? The scheme still requires people to find a 5% deposit as well as a stable, decent paying job- and with house prices continuing to increase this still means needing to save a significant amount of money, especially for those looking to buy on their own. Although, housing schemes might help shorten the length of time that graduates spend living at home, flying back to the nest will continue to be the only option for many graduates. So whether graduates like it or not, at least for now, they’ll need to prepare for a not so comfortable lifestyle with mum and dad, with independence becoming a distant memory.