Boomerang Offspring: Bouncing Back

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Unfortunately, it’s an accepted fact amongst myself and my peers that we will never be able to buy our own house. We will become locked in ‘generation rent’. Even Theresa May, usually so out of touch with young people, has admitted: ‘for many the chance of getting on the housing ladder has become a distant dream’.

Indeed, the figures speak for themselves. The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that, as of 2016, home ownership amongst 25- to 34-year-olds had crashed to just 27%. The same study found that 43% of people born in the late 1970s owned a home by the time they were 27. This generational inequality is staggering.

The housing problem has been brought back into the conversation with the release of an LSE study. The study found that ‘boomerang offspring’ (grown-up children who move away before returning to their family home) are damaging the wellbeing of their parents.

Until the government actually builds affordable housing, the unattainable costs of owning a home will surely only rise

Now, I can’t dispute this fact, but surely this boomerang culture is damaging for the children, too. We’ve all seen the jokes about millenials not being able to afford a house because they spend too much on avocado toast and expensive coffees. Yet these jokes make light of a far more bleak situation. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re at university and so living away from home. The independence you gain whilst at uni is incomparable. Moving back home would undoubtedly decrease this independence, and become incredibly frustrating for both parents and children.

So, what can be done? The majority of these ‘boomerang offspring’ are not so by choice. Until the government actually follows through in building affordable housing, the unattainable costs of owning a home will surely only rise. Especially in London, the government needs to pass legislation preventing foreign investors buying prime real estate and leaving it empty. Until this happens, we can all say goodbye to owning any home at all, let alone the dream houses of our childhoods.

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