‘Boomerangers’… ‘Going Nowhere Generation’… ‘Growing Ups’… ‘Failed Fledglings’… Whichever term you choose to associate with the rise in adult kids moving back in with their parents, it has led to significant changes in living arrangements for everyone involved. Whether it’s a result of the red hot real estate market, the pandemic-hit economy, or simply a desire to save money by moving back home, many parents whose kids have boomeranged have had to alter their retirement plans and finances in line with having a full nest again.
A survey of 3,500 by ISoldMyHouse.com has revealed that almost 2 in 3 young adults (62%; 18-35) in California have moved back in with their parents over the past year – compared to a national average of 36%. And aside from free housing, the research found that 16% have received financial support from their parents.
Some parents may hope that this current boomerang generation represents a temporary pandemic-bolstered blip, likely to resolve itself as restrictions are eased and the economy expands. However, the reality is that the pandemic amplified a trend that has been on the rise over the last few decades. Indeed, sustainable economic independence has been steadily receding and fewer young adults are getting married.
The average rent for homes increased 7.9% over the past year. In some urban areas, the surge has climbed as high as 12%. This is a result of urban renters in pursuit of more living space (possibly brought on by spending months on end in their homes during lockdown), as well as ongoing pressure from aging millennials. In fact, this represents the largest spike in rent for single-family homes in nearly 15 years. Moreover, house prices have increased 26% over the past year, diminishing any hopes of getting onto the property ladder.
Whether this growing boomerang trend is a good or a bad thing depends to a certain degree on who you are asking. Is moving back in with parents a sign of failure, or a shrewd financial move designed to put young adults in a better position when they finally fly the coop? According to the survey, moving back in with parents is a prudent move – a whopping 2 in 3 (72%) ‘boomerangers’ feel this is the case!
However, on the other side of the coin, the point of view is more opaque… The survey revealed that many parents are not overly enthusiastic about the situation – 15% of parents in the Golden State say they feel burdened by having to house their non-rent paying tenants. This is perhaps unsurprising – 15% say they have had to delay retirement plans in order to support their adult children. Moreover, 1 in 3 parents who had previous intentions to downsize the family home, are now unable to do so. In fact, over 1 in 5 (22%) say they are considering upscaling in order to accommodate them.
Look at the Boomerang Generation Interactive Infographic to see what percentage of young adults are returning to live at home and what their parents think about it.
“Although moving back in with parents can be seen as a step backwards,” says Kris Lippi of ISoldMyHouse.com, “looking at it from a sociological point of view, what has happened is entirely predictable – this generation of young adults have been priced out of the real estate market in a way that their parents never were, and many have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. If moving back in with parents helps young people’s mental and financial health, then it has to be a positive thing to do.”