Gone it seems are the days when pretty much every office and workplace had one ‘Nigel’. He was a 30-something, single, slightly overweight, very awkward man, who seemed totally embarrassed if anyone spoke to him and you just knew he had to still live with his mum.
Now it seems Nigels are everywhere. They don’t necessarily need that look of permanent embarrassment and they don’t have to be overweight, but one thing they still are is, living with mum.
According to the Office for National Statistics, one in three men aged between 20 and 34 have either never left home or have moved back in. So that means there are 1.8 million Nigels still out there.
Mind you the girls aren’t all that much better. About one in six of them still live at home too.
Bank of Mum and Dad
It’s astonishing, but since 1997 the number of people who are still living at home with mum and dad has shot up by almost half a million.
Pity their parents really. Long gone too then are the days when the kids grew up, moved out and you got to grow old disgracefully.
Now it seem that thanks to extortionate property prices (rental ones included), too few banks and building societies brave enough to lend the few hundred thousand pounds needed to get a foot on that proverbial property ladder, the kids just can’t afford to leave home. It can’t be too long before three or more generations living under one roof makes a revival in the UK.
And its endemic by the look of it. Another piece of research, this time by Skipton Building Society, says that 44% of us believe today’s youngsters are finding it impossible to grow up as quickly as they should.
Owning their own home (or rather inability to own their own home) was cited as the number one life milestone that many are failing on when it comes to that rite of passage into fully-fledged adulthood.
It’s a sorry state of affairs for these budding young Generation Y-ers who once looked like they had it all.
They were part of the largest population surge since the Baby Boomers of the late forties/early fifties, and have been described by social librarian, William Schroer, as ‘having grown up with it all’.
But there is something positive to be said about the current situation. Savvy stay-at-homes stand to be in the best position of anyone when the economic situation stabilises and the property market picks back up.
Wiith the ability to save money, while you don’t have to actually pay ‘real’ rent (something to mum and dad each week/month to show your gratitude and keep familial relations sweet) there’s ample scope to build up a decent nest egg.
One final thought, William Schroer also noted in his study that ‘one in nine Gen Yers has a credit card co-signed by a parent.’
You know, maybe this generation never had any real chance of cutting the apron strings all along.