48% of people believe young adults spend too much to afford a home


June 2022

48% of people believe young adults spend too much to afford a home

48% of adults believe that homes would be affordable to young adults if they could drop certain luxuries, such as Netflix, holidays, takeaways and mobile phone contracts. 

The research, - carried out by Kings College London - found that a significant proportion of young adults also thought the same way. Surprisingly there was not too much of a generational divide, with between 40-50% of most age groups agreeing with the statement. This includes 48% of millennials and 43% of Gen Z.

Since 1990, house prices have more than quadrupled, from an average of £57,683 to £289,000 today. Wages have failed to keep up with this explosive growth, leading to declining rates of mortgage applicaitons home ownership. 

This difficulty was recognised in the Kings College survey. 76% agreed that unfavourable conditions like house prices, inflation and rigid lending requirements all have a negative impact on young people's ability to buy a home. 

However, whether it was the main factor was the subject of some contention. 40% of Millennials agreed it was, compared with only 31% of Baby Boomers and Gen X.

“Three-quarters of the public recognise broader economic factors are preventing young adults from getting on the housing ladder – but around half still think a key reason is that young people are spending too much on things like takeaway coffees and Netflix," stated the Kings College Report. "And younger generations themselves are more likely to agree than disagree with this view.”

Much of these findings were caveated with the fact that disparaging views on the younger generation have existed almost as long as civilisation itself. A quote taken from Ancient Greece saying 'Young people today love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love gossip in place of activity.' was agreed with by 51% of those who took the survey.

Younger people living in more urban areas, away from rural locations where older generations reside might also be a contributing factor in how they are viewed.

“Part of the reason for our cliched view of young people will be that we now live much more separately than in the past, with young people more concentrated in cities and older people in smaller towns and villages.” Said Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at Kings College.