Over half (51%) of millennials are willing to purchase an alternative dwelling over a house or flat to get on the property ladder.
That is according to a new study commissioned by residential and leisure mooring provider BWML, which revealed that 55% of millennials are struggling to save the deposit required to purchase a traditional property.
When asked if they would consider an alternative dwelling, 53% of millennials said they would temporarily live in a caravan (53%), 33% said a houseboat and 14% would consider a trailer.
The most popular long-term residence option was a houseboat, with 27% saying they would happily raise a family on the water.
Although 48% cited affordability as the main perk of alternative living, 25% are drawn to the associated health and well-being benefits, such as improved mental health.
Of the same group, 15% are attracted to the environmental advantages, while 10% would find it more convenient for travel.
Long-time boat resident, Julie Cox, believes that life afloat offers a better way of living. “The lifestyle is more relaxed and you can move whenever you want,” she said.
“I have met and seen many people on the canal with all sorts of issues, depression being one of them. I think being on the canal helps them, mostly because they are rarely judged by others and have the option to start afresh if they choose. It offers a healthier lifestyle all round.”
What’s more, GPs are even prescribing canal walks to combat depression, reduce stress and cure loneliness, according to research by The Canal & River Trust.
Kat, a travel blogger at Wandering Bird, believes millennials are simply looking for a different way of life. She said: “People are willing to live a little smaller, in order to have more freedom to travel and enjoy the world.”
“Whether that’s living in a van or on a boat, there are several options and I think more people are becoming aware of those and taking the opportunities which come their way.”
Alternative homes may be a temporary – and potentially long-term – solution for those looking for independence but want to avoid renting or simply don’t want to give up flexibility and put down roots.