Roll the clock back 20 years and any self-respecting late 20/early 30 something would never say on their first date that they lived with their mum and dad. It was seen as a sign of immaturity being tied to your mother’s apron strings with as a failure to leave the family home. Yet over these last two decades, the age of leaving home has been increasing steadily from 20 years and 11 months in the late 1990’s to 22 years and 7 months today.
However, as with all the stats, the devil is in the detail. Although the age of leaving home has only risen by 8% between 1997 and today, those that didn’t leave home in their early 20’s tended to stay much, much longer.
In 1997, 11.26% of 25yo to 34yo still lived at home with their parents, yet last year that had risen to 15.74%, an increase of 391,000 ‘stay at home’ Millennials
However, before we deride these Millennials for still being tied to their mother’s apron strings, I would say those very same Millennials (the mid 20’s to 30-year olds) have been pragmatic, being attracted to sacrificing independence in order to achieve their long-term life goals as they have seen rents rise and an inability to save for the mortgage deposit. All of this has seen the first-time buyer levels in this millennial age range rise for the last three years … so good news for everyone!
However, is all that about to change?
Just as mum and dads in Chelmsford had thought their late 20 something/early 30 something offspring had flown the nest, Covid-19 has blown some Chelmsford ‘chickadees’ back into the nest. Back in March, the lockdown saw many Millennials flee the big UK cities, with their constrained and poky shared HMO’s and flat shares, swapping their city centre private rented home for their parents’ Chelmsford home.
Yet with lockdown lessening, it isn’t just remote workers who are unenthusiastic and disinclined to return to the big cities (fearful of a second lockdown) – many of these Coronavirus blow-ins are deciding to stay put too! A recent YouGov poll asked Millennials of private rented homes what their plans were and 1 in 6 tenants planned to hand their notice in on their rented home and fly back to the nest of mum and dad. The advantages are quite plain, especially as it could enable them to save for a deposit to buy their future home.
There are 46,220 households in Chelmsford, made up of 13,336 single person households and 30,164 family households
(the remainder being made up of shared houses etc.)
Yet how many of those Chelmsford family households had non-dependent children before Covid-19?
4,566 Chelmsford households have children that haven’t flown the nest
That’s 15.1% of Chelmsford families whose kids are still to leave home … and it’s only going to get worse!
So, what does this mean for Chelmsford homeowners and Chelmsford landlords?
It will mean that Chelmsford parents and their children will get to know each other better, build stronger relationships and it will enable their children, if they are wise, to save for their deposit for their first home purchase – who knows maybe in Chelmsford, as working from home could become the norm.
Also, with remote working, many tenants are looking for properties with bigger gardens which could translate into greater demand for property with bigger gardens? It will also change the property needs of those Chelmsford parents and potentially could mean instead of those parents moving down market, they could end up staying longer or moving up market?
Now of course these polls could be a load of hot air? What I do know is that this thing has not played out yet and only time will tell if this will make a concrete change to the way people live, rent and buy property.
These are interesting times and thank you for reading this. Do let me know your thoughts on this matter.