Rising rents have led to a decline in the number of young adults leaving their family homes across Great Britain since 2015. Back then, first-time renters made up 6.1% of all tenants who moved into a new home, equating to 71,860 new rented households in England. However, during the first five months of 2023, that figure has fallen to 4.6% or around 43,280 new rented households in England.
If young adults continued to move from their family homes at the same pace as in 2015, there would be an additional 104,550 households looking to rent in England between 2016 and 2023.
As the average rent paid by someone leaving the parental home surpasses £1,000 per month for the first time, the average would-be tenant in Great Britain is set to save £12,290 by continuing to live rent-free with their parents this year. In total, this will save would-be first-time renters in England a total of £1.3 billion in rent in 2023.
Young adults in the South of England are less likely to become new renters than those in the North. So far this year, those leaving the parental home made up 5.4% of all renters in the North of England, compared to 3.7% of those renting in the South of England.
Despite double-digit rental growth, the share of renters who left the family home to rent in London has risen from 2.5% in 2022 to 3.2% so far this year. While Londoners remain the least likely to leave the family home out of any region in Great Britain, this puts these figures back to around pre-Covid levels and reflects how more younger adults, many of whom moved home to family during Covid, are now moving back to be closer to their jobs.Meanwhile, those living in Yorkshire & The Humber are most likely to leave home, making up 6.6% of renters moving so far in 2023.
Despite rising rents, affordability has improved for young renters. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average pre-tax income of an 18-24-year old in the UK has risen 42% since 2015 to average £18,900. Meanwhile, our data shows that the average rent on a single room has increased 26% over the same period, with one-beds rising by 30%. This means that the average young-adult has spent 43% of their pre-tax salary on renting a room so far this year, down from 49% in 2015.
Young adults are now more focused on the type of property they want to rent. As rents have risen, would-be tenants are staying at home for longer in order to build up their savings to afford a larger home. 32% of tenants who moved out this year rented a studio or one-bed in Great Britain, down from 37% last year. However, the proportion who left the family home and rented a home with at least two bedrooms rose from 63% in 2022 to 68% so far this year.