It has been revealed in the past week that for the very first time in more than six decades it is more likely for almost half of babies born today to be living in a rented property, as opposed to an owner-occupied one. This is according to a report conducted by the insurance firm Royal London.
The data collected by the insurance company shows how the well-known term ‘generation rent’ has now turned into a new phenomenon of ‘generation parent‘. In the most recent figures released, for 2016-2017, approximately 49.2% of children were born in this period to families who are living in rented accommodation in the country, amounting to around 365,000 born into rented homes that year alone.
The rise of families privately renting
In the past ten years, the number of families across the UK who are privately renting property has risen dramatically by over 94%. This is largely down to the fact that it is becoming harder and harder for those in their late 20s and 30s to actually get on the property ladder due to high prices.
This is a sharp reverse trend that we have seen compared to previous years. For example, from the 1960s onward, home ownership steadily increased year on year. This trend continued till 2003-04, where approximately less than a third of children were being born into council homes, privately rented accommodation or housing association property.
Average age of the first-time buyer increasing
One of the main factors that mean that more and more infants are being born into rented accommodation is that people are having children earlier than they are able to purchase their first home. As it becomes increasingly difficult to get on the ladder due to staggeringly high house prices, people are having to wait for a longer period of time before getting a house to call their own.
According to the same study, the typical age of a first-time buyer in the UK is now thought to be 34. In 1997, the average age was nearly a decade younger, with estimates being that 26 was when most bought their first home.
Renting and insecurity
One of the main issues with families in rented accommodation, based upon a study from the governments Family Resources Survey, is that it provokes a lot of insecurity. For those in private rentals, it is estimated 200,000 families face the ever-present risk of being evicted, which can be a major stressor in family life.