Londoners Too Broke To Leave Home

Posted in: Research Last updated: 29 Sep 2006

With many graduates viewing the Capital as the Land of Opportunity, new research from Engage Mutual Assurance reveals that moving to London could mean putting off growing up as the cost of living soars.

Young people in London are curtailing aspirations due to the rinsing costs of living in the Capital, by waiting longer than anyone else in the country before they can afford to move out of the family home, get married or buy their first property.

Interested in how finances influence life style decisions, Engage Mutual Assurance asked a representative sample of 2,000 adults when they expected to be able to afford key life stage milestones. As part of Engage’s 3GB campaign2, this report focuses on the life stage decisions facing the younger generation.

Key Findings

Living at home for longer:

With rising costs of living making it increasingly difficult for young adults to fly the nest, 28% of under 25 year olds do not expect to be able to afford to leave home until they are older than 25. In London this figure soars to over a third (35%) as city dwellers take financial refuge in their parents’ home.

Purse strings controlling the heart strings:

Twenty years ago1, the average age of marriage was 24; today Britons don’t expect to be able to afford to marry until they’re 27, with Londoners waiting until they are 29. People in London are 50% more likely than the average Briton to wait until they are over 30 to afford to wed, over a third (39%) expecting to put off marriage until their third decade, compared to a quarter (25%) nationally.

Struggling to get a foot on the property ladder:

With just 11% of under 25 year olds currently owning a property, 25 percent do not expect to be able to afford to buy their first home until they are older than 30, compared to 29 percent in London. Worryingly, eight percent of under 25 year olds have given up hope completely, saying that they expect never be able to afford to buy their own home.

The Average age people under 25 expect to be able to afford life-stage events

 Region  Move out of family home   Get Married  Buy First Home 
 London  24.9   29.1   28.5 
 South  23.9  26.6  28.5
 Midlands and Wales  24.5  27  27.4
 North  23.4  28.2  27.8
 Scotland  24.0  26.6  27.1
 National Average  24.2  27.7  28.1

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for Engage said:

“These results reveal how increasing financial pressures in modern Britain are leading people to re-evaluate their aspirations. Money is often a key determinant in deciding when the time is right for young adults to move out of home, get married or buy their first property.”

“With the younger generation finding it increasingly difficult to gain financial independence, our research has shown that supporting young grownups is placing an increasing strain on older family members. As a modern mutual, Engage provide simple financial solutions for the whole family, in order to reduce the financial burdens experienced as a result of family support. Tax efficient savings, including ISAs and CTFs, which mature when a policy holder reaches adulthood, for example, are a cost-effective way to help ensure that children have support starting out in life.”



1 According to The Office of National Statistics (www.statistics.gov.uk), the average age of a first marriage in 1986 was 25.12 for men, and 23.11 for women.

2 ‘3GB’ is the engage Three Generation Britain research index. Research was conducted by YouGov across a GB representative of 2,200 adults (including 731 parents with children over the age of 25, and 1,269 people with living parents) in July 2006. The research explores the financial relationships of care between the generations and investigates shifts in traditional financial provision.