Everyone knows that, nowadays, housing is astronomically expensive and the graduate market is saturated – so for young people, where else is there to go when reality bites but back to the loving nest of Mum and Dad? In fact, new statistics suggest that this has become not just a lifeline but a lifestyle.
According to Shelter’s latest research, in the past year, 20 per cent of working 20 to 34 year olds have moved back in with their parents, while 15 per cent have never moved out. A huge 35 per cent are 'saving for a deposit’ while for 21 per cent rent is 'too expensive.’
In central London, this may well be true. But almost everywhere else, even a tiny starter salary covers a poky room in a bad rental on the wrong side of town – and while I fully accept that it’s far harder to find decent accommodation than it was when I was younger, I am forced to wonder if some of these huddled masses in the spare room aren’t really yearning to be free at all.
A study last year by Metlife found that adult children are, on average, £3100 in debt to their parents, while one in eight over 65s still has adult children living with them. That does not not suggest a young person fresh from graduation, frantically scanning flatshare websites. It hints more at Ronnie Corbett’s Timothy from Sorry! - a wizened teenager, forever on the verge of beginning adult life, but never quite escaping Mother.