Proportion of income UK families spend on housing has trebled since the 60s

The proportion of income that British families spend on housing has trebled from 6 per cent since the early 1960s to 18 per cent, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank.

British millennials, those in their 20s and 30s, spend almost a quarter of their income on housing costs (23% of what they earn), significantly more than the amount their grandparents spent on housing at the same age.

From each generation to the next housing costs have taken up a growing proportion of disposable income.

Housing Market -
House price growth has increased the proportion of income spent on capital repayments.

“Millennials have also been more likely to be living with their parents in their mid-20s than previous cohorts, while families are much less likely to house their elderly parents than they were in the past,” the Resolution Foundation said.

Young families in the UK are paying more for smaller living spaces further away from work compared to previous generations.

Since 1996, the floor space for Britons under 45 has dropped by 4% while average floor space for those above the age of 45 has increased 2%.

The Resolution Foundation said that although the quality of housing has in many respects improved hugely, “millennial-headed households are more likely than previous generations to live in overcrowded conditions.”

“When we look at the distribution of square meterage we see today’s under-45s have been net losers in the space stakes compared to previous cohorts, while over-45s are net gainers,” the think tank said.

Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said in a statement:

“Britain’s housing catastrophe has been 50 years in the making but while its effects are widespread it is millennials who are truly at the sharp end.

The big danger today is that young people are having to settle for lower quality, longer commutes and less security in order to afford a place to live, despite spending a record share of their income of housing,” Judge said in a statement.

The report predicts that the average millennial will spend an extra 64 hours a year commuting to work by the age of 40 compared to baby boomers – those born in the two decades after World War II.

The Foundation concluded that “there is scope for political determination to make a difference to the housing outlook, and future work for the Intergenerational Commission will consider what action should be taken.”