People delaying starting a family due to high cost of housing

Nearly one in four people aged from their mid-20s to their late 30s say that expensive housing costs

Nearly one in four people aged from their mid-20s to their late 30s say that expensive housing costs are preventing them from starting a family - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nearly one in four people aged from their mid-20s to their late 30s say that expensive housing costs are preventing them from starting a family, according to research from Shelter.

The charity looked into the way that “sky high” housing costs are forcing people to put their lives on hold.

It also found evidence that one in 10 people across all age ranges who pay rent or a mortgage are stuck in an unhappy relationship with their current partner because they cannot afford to move somewhere else.

The research found that 24 per cent of those aged between 24 and 39 said that housing costs are forcing them to put plans to start a family on hold and more than half (57 per cent) of prospective parents are delaying starting a family by up to five years.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of UK adults agreed that they are in an unhappy relationship and would leave their partner if they could afford to buy or rent their own place to live.

Shelter highlighted the case of a woman from London named Christina who was forced to move into her parents’ house with her husband only a year after getting married, due to the high cost of housing.

The charity said the couple are now considering a house share with another couple, with no plans for a family on the horizon.

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Christina said: “In our situation the idea of having children seems little more than a pipe dream. It feels almost laughable that we’ll ever own our own family home but the only alternative is bringing up kids in unstable rented properties, which we’d rather not do unless we absolutely have to.”

“Our polling of young people underlines the stark reality of their situation and how they feel like they are shouting into a void. They are just not being listened to by government and are left feeling completely ignored, especially when it comes to housing.”

Recent research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) found that the number of people getting on the property ladder last year was the highest seen since 2007, with schemes such as Help to Buy meaning that fewer people are needing to rely on the “bank of mum and dad” to raise a mortgage deposit.

According to the CML’s estimates, almost half (48 per cent) of people taking their first step on to the property ladder last year did so without needing extra cash from relatives such as parents and grandparents, showing an increase from the 34 per cent of first-time buyers who were thought to have got into the market in 2011 without needing family help in raising their deposit.

But Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said: “The only way to give back hope to the priced out generation is for politicians to make a real and lasting commitment to building the affordable homes we desperately need.”

Shelter’s research, which was conducted among nearly 4,500 adults in total, came as a separate report from the National Housing Federation (NHF) found that 15 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds are considering putting marriage and or related plans on the back burner and around one in seven (14 per cent) are thinking about moving back in with their parents in order to fund a mortgage deposit.

The NHF’s research also found that one in 25 (4 per cent) have or are considering taking part in paid medical research in order to raise a deposit. The NHF research was carried out among around 2,300 people.

David Orr, NHF chief executive, said: “We simply cannot afford to ignore the concerns of younger people and just accept the fact that they will be considerably worse off than previous generations. This shouldn’t be the case.”