Britain’s housing crisis is causing many people under 45-years-old to put off major life decisions, according to a new study by YouGov on behalf of homelessness charity Shelter.
Shelter reveals that 59% of people in that age group have put significant milestones, such as marriage, starting a family or moving for work, on hold. The research indicates how the housing crisis is affecting much more than just where people live.
Housing Crisis Causing Many to Put off Major Life Decisions
Over the past few years, house prices have continued to rise, with the average property value in London surpassing £600,000 for the first time last month.
Data from recent months also shows that rent prices have been increasing constantly since 2010, putting even further pressure on prospective first time buyers saving for a deposit.
Research has found that as a result of the chronic housing shortage, the average age of a first time buyer is now 38. This is expected to rise to 41 by 2025, according to financial services firm London Victoria.
However, the lack of affordable housing is also increasingly having an impact on personal lives.
The YouGov survey found that 19% of people under 45 have experienced a delay finding a job, while 16% have postponed getting married. Some 22% of respondents have put off having children because of their housing situation, while one in ten expect to delay their retirement from work.
The Government’s Starter Homes scheme was designed to boost homeownership. However, the initiative has been criticised, as the houses are still too expensive for most people on ordinary incomes.
The Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, believes that young people have been left in limbo due to the shortage of affordable homes.
He says: “Everyone deserves the chance to have a home where they can put down roots and build a life for themselves. But our ever-growing housing crisis means millions of young people are being left behind – unable to reach many of the crucial life milestones that were taken for granted by the generations who came before them.
“As Shelter reaches its 50th year, it’s heart-breaking to see so many young people still living in a housing limbo, facing a frustrating lifetime of instability where they feel unable to move forward with their lives.”
He insists: “We cannot make this crisis someone else’s problem, and it’s the responsibility of all of us to help fix it.”