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Adults set to boomerang back to parents to cope with cost of living

According to a new study by Avivia, a fifth of independently living adults are contemplating moving back in with parents to cope with the ever-rising cost-of-living in the UK.

The research, which is part of the insurer’s How We Live series, ultimately suggests that up to 2 million grown-up “children”, aged 18-34 could be returning to the family nest.

Kelly Whittington, Aviva UK property claims director, says: “The ‘boomerang children’ trend has been around for some time now, but our research suggests the UK could see a new spike. As people count the rising cost of living, young adults may be even more likely to return home to mum and dad.”


“Financial factors are a key consideration, leading to people staying in the family home for longer – but it is reassuring that many parents and children are happy with the arrangement too.

“From an insurance perspective, if the number of people living at an address changes, customers should tell their home insurance provider, in case any policy changes are required. And if the arrangement becomes more long-term and residents decide to make structural changes to their homes - such as an extension or an additional bathroom - they should tell their insurer before work begins.”

The survey looked at a study group of 1,500 parents and 1,500 adult children in various living arrangements. Among adults who have left their parents’ homes, one “child” in 20 (5%) says they intend to move back. A further 9% have discussed the idea with parents, but are yet to make specific plans, while another 8% have thought about it, but have not yet broached the subject with parents.

Consequentially, parents are even more convinced that their children will in fact return, with almost three in 10 (28%) saying their child either has plans to move back home or has shown an interest in doing so.

Official (ONS) figures show that an astonishing 4.8 million adults between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents in the UK.

Parent or landlord?

The study also reveals parents living with adult children may be looking to them for financial support. Around half of the adults in this situation (53%) say their children pay rent for their bed and board, while a quarter contributes in other ways, such as paying for food or other bills.

Of those who collect rent from their children, the monthly average received is £197, but more than a quarter of these parents (28%) feel this amount is too little. Food is overwhelmingly the biggest cause of costs for parents in this position.

Notably, one in eight parents in these households (12%) have asked their children to start paying more and an additional third (35%) have considered increasing their children’s rent but have yet to do so.

Two-fifths of these parents (42%) also admit that the cost of living has caused conflict in their household with their children.

However, there is positive news in the living arrangement too. Two-fifths (43%) of parents say the family is happy with the living arrangement and their child has no desire to move out. One parent in eight (12%) feels it would be ‘ideal’ if their child was never to leave home.

Children living with parents claim to pay more

Interestingly, when adult children are questioned about their contributions to parents, they claim to pay more than parents typically state – an average of £318 per month, with 72% of children saying they pay rent. Only 6% of children admit they don’t contribute in any way, with 22% stating they buy food or pay bills instead of rent.

Almost three-fifths (57%) of regular rent payers also say they have started to contribute more, in response to the rising cost of living.

Financial considerations are given as the primary reason for children to remain with their parents. Two-fifths (40%) are trying to raise funds to buy their own home; 28% say they can’t afford rental prices in the area and 26% specifically cite the rising cost of living.

Yet like their parents, many in this generation see benefits too. Around a quarter (24%) state, they are happy with their living arrangement, although it should be mentioned that this is notably lower than the view of parents.


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