We’re the ‘boomerang’ kids and apparently moving back home is affecting our parents’ wellbeing.
Remember that little thing known as the housing crisis? Of course, you do. Especially because we’re known as the generation of renters who can’t afford to buy their own homes.
Long story short, the cost of living is becoming increasingly expensive and it’s now harder and harder to juggle bills, pay rent and have left over for entertainment as well as savings – especially for those sitting on high hopes of purchasing a first home. This is a common trend that’s happening internationally, but also in our own back yard.
To say living in the big smoke is expensive is an understatement; recent statistics released by CoreLogic show that home-buyers in Auckland paid an average of $856,467 for an entry level property last year alone. With Auckland being the most expensive city to live in New Zealand, many millennials are promptly looking to relocate elsewhere and have headed to places such as Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga to have their smashed avo on toast.
But never mind us moany millennials, quick to complain about these little problems that will continue to have a resounding effect on pretty much every aspect of our adult lives. This, apparently, is a real pain in the backside for our home-owning parents.
According to a new study by the London School of Economics and Political Science, parents whose grown-up kids move back to their otherwise empty homes are experiencing a decline in their quality of life.
The research analysed the wellbeing of parents across 17 countries whose lives had been interrupted by their adult children returning home after having previously fled the nest.
Giving their quality of life a score between 12 and 48 based on factors that indicated control, autonomy, pleasure and self-realisation, it was found that the parents of ‘boomerang’ children had generally lower scores.
‘Over the past half century, intergenerational co-residence has declined dramatically in Western countries’ the report said.
Yet, in response to things like financial hardship among young adults, poor job prospects and high unemployment rates, the study acknowledges that this trend has altered quite a bit recently.
Young adults who left home only to find that their wage wasn’t enough to comfortably cover rent and still be able to afford things like bills, food, travel – and thus had to take out credit cards just to get through the month – will know all too well that having to return home isn’t exactly a huge boost to their outlook on life either.
The study explained ‘that among boomerang children, 71% were employed, 12% unemployed and 17% out of the labour force’.
Most children moving back home (about 56%) were never married, while only twelve per cent were divorced or separated.
Ultimately, the fact that the vast majority of those who have moved home have jobs only echoes how bad the economic storm that whisked those back to their parent’s houses in the first place really is.
One of the crucial things with this is that there is a difference between being able to move out and choosing not to, and having left and then having to return to your parents’ sacred empty nest because of the multitude of financial hurdles that our generation is increasingly unable to safely jump in the current economic climate.
As of 2017, data released by the Office for National Statistics in the UK showed that there are 3.4 million young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living at home with their parents in the UK alone– a huge rise from the 2.7 million twenty years before.
We’ve watched this number grow for years, not unlike the way the housing crisis grew – ensuring that an entire generation will struggle to own homes in a way that none of our parents or even grandparents have experienced before.
We’ve campaigned, we’ve petitioned, we’ve read and shared every new study and set of statistics that demonstrate just how dramatically the state of housing is affecting our generation of renters -not just in little old New Zealand, but the likes of the international playground; but where are we now?
With ambitious Kiwis facing the struggle that there aren’t enough affordable homes out there and becoming increasingly reliant on the bank of mum and dad, we’re out here waiting for faster solutions.
If events of the last few years aren’t enough to make that happen, maybe the strain of our baby boomer parents having to put us up for a while will make the issue a tad more #relatable for the politicians in charge…