Young Generations Delay Financial Milestones But Rush Into Home Buying

Posted in: Community Last updated: 22 May 2007

Despite money matters putting Britain’s younger generations off tying the knot and flying the nest, today’s under 25’s anticipate buying their first home before their grandparents did, according to new research by Engage Mutual.

The research reveals that financial limitations are causing under 25 year olds to delay moving out of the family home by three years, and getting married by four and a half years, compared to older generations. However, with growing acceptance of debt, and despite escalating property prices, under 25 year olds anticipate buying their first home almost a year ahead of their grandparents.

As part of its 3GB Campaign1, exploring how finances impact the experiences of generations, Engage Mutual questioned a sample of 2,300 adults about their aspirations and experiences. The results reveal that whilst under 25 year olds may be struggling to move on in life, they are accepting debt to get a foot on the property ladder.

Key findings

Moving out later

  • One third (34%) of Britons under 25 anticipate waiting until they are at least 24 before being able afford to move out of their parents’ home. Today’s retirees fled the nest three years earlier at the age of 21
  • More than eight in ten (84%) retirees moved out of their parents’ homes by the time they were 25, in contrast just two in three (67%) under 25 year olds already have, or are anticipating moving out of home, before they are 25

Delaying marriage

  • The younger generation are putting off marriage for financial reasons; under 25s are expecting to be able to afford marriage at 27.7, three and a half years later than their grandparent’s wed (at 23.2).
  • 85% of today’s retirees were married by the time they were 30. Today, just 55% of under 25 year olds have married, or anticipate being able to afford to marry, before they are 30.

Moving into property

  • Embracing the property market, under 25 year olds expect to be able to afford to buy their first home at 28 nine months before their grandparents set foot on the property ladder*.

Changing times for Scotland

The Scots have seen the greatest transformation in their experiences of home buying. Retired generations in Scotland waited until they were 32, longer than any other region, to buy their first home. Today’s young Scots are the most optimistic, expecting to buy a home by the age of 27.

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for engage said:

“Young people today face a very different financial landscape than today’s retirees faced forty years ago. With consumer debt at an all-time high, 125% mortgages readily available and credit at our fingertips, today’s young generation has become more accustomed to living with debt. As a result, attitudes to financial milestones are changing.”

“While it is encouraging to see that today’s under-25s are not put off by ever-increasing house prices, it is important that they are as prepared as possible when it comes to savings. By putting away a little and often over the long-term, both parents and off-spring can cope better with the financial milestones to come.”

1 ‘3GB’ is Engage’s Three Generation Britain research index. Research was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Engage Mutual Assurance. The survey was conducted between the 23rd and 25th January 2007 across a representative GB sample of 2,312


The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.