Gen Z and millennials have been classified as Generation Rent for years due to being priced out of the housing market – unable to buy and having to pay a high percentage of income on rent.
However, not all are being forced out of ownership by circumstance, some are shunning it by choice and opting to invest their money in other ways. Either way, this means Gen Z and millennials are renting for longer than their parent's generation.
New research released by flatshare site, SpareRoom, reveals that 25% of 20-39-year-olds have already lived in twice as many homes as their parents’ generation have over their lifetime. This will increase to three times as many homes as their parents’ generation before they find their forever home.
According to the data, 25% of Gen Z and millennials have moved home 10 or more times since they left their family house. A further 25% expect to move at least another five times before they find their ‘forever’ home. In fact, just 1% of Gen Z and millennials are currently living in their long-term home.
This is compared to the older generations (50+) who, on average, have lived in fewer than five homes, and are much more likely to have owned a home from a younger age, potentially not have gone to university or job hopped as much as their children.
It’s not just the number of homes lived in that differs vastly between generations, but also the number of people each generation have lived with. 32% of Gen Z and millennials have lived with more than 15 flatmates over their lifetime, excluding family and partners. Whilst 44% of the older generation (50+) have never lived with anyone that wasn’t immediate family or their partner.
What’s pleasing to hear is 25% of Gen Z and millennials are still friends with all the people they lived with and an additional 52% are still friends with some of them - evidence that flatsharing is a great way to make long-lasting friendships.
Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director comments: “The simple fact is that people are renting for longer today than they used to and the key reason is affordability. The days of average house prices being roughly three or four times the average salary are long gone. That means Gen Z and millennials will live in so many more properties, and with so many more people, than their parents did.
"Their parents’ generation were far more likely to live at home with their family until they moved out to get married, which for some meant they moved straight into their ‘forever’ home”, something we’re not used to today.
"There are plenty of places in the world where people don’t feel the same pressure to own their homes as we do, and the truth is renting can be a great option, as we’ve seen from the number of people who’ve found long term friendships through living with each other. But the reality is that housing of all kinds has become way too expensive.”