Millennials now spend three times as much on housing as their grandparents

Emma Haslett
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Millennials are finding homes increasingly unaffordable (Source: Getty)

Millennials are spending three times as much on housing as their grandparents - and the homes they can afford are getting smaller and further away from their places of work, according to a study by a think tank chaired by a former Conservative minister.

Today's 30 year-olds spend just under a quarter of their income on homes, according to the Resolution Foundation, whose chair, David Willetts, is a former universities minister.

That is more than twice the 17 per cent baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1965, spent on housing - while their grandparents spent just seven per cent.

Meanwhile, as housing becomes less affordable, millennials are being forced to endure longer commutes and smaller homes.

Read more: Millennials aren’t unreliable - they're just having a confidence crisis

The study showed around 55 per cent of millennials are "under-occupying" their homes, ie. have a spare bedroom, compared with roughly 57 per cent of "Generation X", those born between 1966 and 1980.

Meanwhile, average floor space has fallen by four per cent since 1996 for those aged under 40, but has increased two per cent for those aged 45 and over.

Meanwhile, millennials spend far more time travelling to and from work: the report estimated they will spend 64 hours, or three full days, more commuting by the time they turn 40 than their baby boomer parents did.

“The shock election results of the last 15 months have shown that significant discontent exists about the direction that Britain is heading and housing is huge a part of this anxiety," said Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

“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. For older generations at least rising housing costs have been accompanied by improvements in the quality and security of housing, as more families have been able to own their home.

“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."

Read more: More signs emerge of London house prices falling in August

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