Surge in “sandwich generation” ups demand for larger homes

Surge in “sandwich generation” ups demand for larger homes

Landlords are facing increasing demand for larger properties and HMOs to rent after a surge of the 'sandwich generation' households, where people are living in groups of six or more, according to leading online letting agent, Lets Rent.

According to recent stats, more than three million people now live in households with at least six other individuals and the Office for National Statistics revealed that there are now 543,000 crowded households. This has made it the fastest-growing category of housing, with a 25% jump in ten years.

The ‘sandwich generation’ has attracted the nickname because they are not only caring for their children, but also their ageing parents. The difficulty of getting on to the housing ladder is one reason for the squeeze on space. With young people struggling to get on to the housing ladder, more and more have to live with their parents because they cannot afford a home of their own.

The rise was seen in every region of England and Wales, apart from the North East. According to the ONS report all of these areas have been identified as having high proportions of concealed families (such as inter-generational families), high levels of overcrowding and also have high proportions of the population identifying with Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnic groups.

More than one in 10 households in the East London borough of Newham had at least six people living in. Outside London, the areas with the highest proportion of ‘six or more’ were Luton, Slough, Bradford, Birmingham and Leicester.

Oliver Fitzpatrick, director and co-founder of Lets Rent said: “Many young people are struggling to find jobs and get on the property ladder and are having to live with their parents. In 2013, more than 3.3 million adults in the UK aged between 20 and 34 were living with a parent or parents – which was 26% of the age group. This is an increase of 25% from 1996.

“Rising property values and rent costs are forcing multi-generational families to live together to save on housing costs. The demand for property that can house 5-6 tenants is rising fast. In fact, we have seen a 20% leap in demand for multi occupancy accommodation year-on-year. Landlords have begun to identify this need and are providing properties that satisfy HMO standards as a result.”