Looking forward to enjoying some peace and quiet when your children go to university? Think again.
Eschewing student housing in favour at staying at the hotel of Mum and Dad is on the rise!
As millions of us know, being a parent is a tiring business. The screaming toddler years, the constant ferrying around as they get older, the moody silences of teenage angst.
But there’s one notion that sustains my wife and I through the daily grind. It’s the thought that, one day, the little darlings will leave home for university … and we’ll finally get our house back.
Ah, just think of it. No more stepping barefoot onto sharp-edged toys in the middle of the night. No more explosions of dirty clothes in their bedrooms. Finally the chance to watch what we want to see on the telly. Bliss …
But hang on. Here’s a statistic to chill the blood of any parent looking forward to taking control of the sofa once again:
- 1 in 4 of all university students now live at home with their parents!
That’s an increase of 25% on just 10 years ago!
It’s not really that surprising if you think about it. Being a student these days is an expensive affair. Tuition fees cost up to a whacking £9,000 a year, while the price of accommodation has doubled over the last decade according to the National Union of Students.
And here’s even more depressing news for parents: things don’t look much better after the student years. The National Housing Federation reports that almost 3 in 10 parents have at least one adult child aged between 21 and 40 living with them at home. Though, hopefully, the 40-year-olds have learned to pick up their own dirty socks by now.
The reason for all these grown-up, stay-at-home-children? Simply that renting or buying their own home is way out of reach. How different from my day. I had a mortgage by the time I was 23, on a 1-bedroom flat bought for £26,000. £26,000! Today, there are parking spaces in London that cost more than that.
Back then, my flat cost just over twice what I earned in a year. The trouble now is that the average price of a home is almost 10 times the average salary of people in their 20s. In fact, the charity Shelter now reckons that it would take the typical single person 14 years to save up for a deposit. So it’s no wonder so many 30-somethings are still bunking down in their childhood bedrooms.
What’s the solution? To me, the obvious answer is a lot more affordable housing, but our elected politicians don’t look like agreeing on how to provide this any time soon. Maybe if more of them had sweaty, lanky, 25-year-old sons cluttering up their living rooms, playing Call of Duty all night, it would help to concentrate their minds.
All in all, it doesn’t look too promising for my wife and I as our children head towards university age. That peace and quiet we were looking forward to in a few years? I think it might be time to convert the shed…