Prodo is fully immersed in the social housing sector and much of our work with housing associations is driven by the need for digital transformation to meet the changing needs of those the sector serves. We wanted to find out how millennials’ attitudes are impacting how they view housing, so we commissioned a national OnePoll survey – the Prodo Millennials Housing Survey 2017.
The findings were revealing: almost half of millennials believe they will probably never own their own home due to property prices according to the 2017 Millennial Housing Survey, but only 17% will consider social housing as an option.
The poll, which surveyed 1000 adults aged 18 to 34 year-olds nationwide, showed the challenges facing millennials show no sign of easing. But at the same time their feelings about shared ownership or social housing meant they were living with mum and dad even after leaving university and into their 30s.
Pippa Adams, CEO of Prodo, said: “Regardless of the financial challenges of flying the nest, millennials’ attitudes towards social housing are mostly negative, with only 17% considering it an option. Similarly, just 23% have looked at shared ownership schemes, and 19% say that the schemes are too confusing to get into.”
The Deposit Dilemma
The survey shows nearly a quarter of millennials either live with their parents or rent and just 30% have managed to get a mortgage. Meanwhile 40% of millennials who would love to own their own home but believe property prices will prevent them ever achieving their aim and only 26% are saving up for a deposit.
It seems that the idea of the challenge facing millennials wanting to purchase their own home may be greater than the challenge itself. Only 30% of respondents who had already bought their own home had help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, with 68% actually saving the deposit for their first home themselves.
Some regions saw young adults receive more assistance than others though. Wales and East Anglia were the places where the Bank of Mum and Dad - and even Nan and Grandad - were most generous, contributing to 13% of home deposits.
Despite the North East being ranked second for regional home ownership, it was one of the places - alongside Northern Ireland, where millennials were most pessimistic about owning their own home.
But don’t question their commitment – 69% of millennials are living with a partner or spouse, including 51% of 18-24 year-olds – and a staggering 85% have never dropped out of a property move while it was underway.
Often dubbed the boomerang generation due to their tendency to move back in with parents after university, the region with the highest proportion of millennials living with parents is the West Midlands (30%), followed closely by Yorkshire and the Humber (29%).
Pippa said: “Among millennials, women are less inclined to consider shared ownership schemes than men and feel more pessimistic about the prospect of owning their own home.
“It’s evident that home ownership is very much on the agenda for young people. We see this as a real opportunity for housing associations to target millennials with clear communications that demystify the process of applying for shared ownership schemes.”
The barriers for millennials don’t stop at social housing. Only a quarter would consider communal living in shared housing (co-housing). London and Wales are the places young adults are most likely to see co-housing as an viable option, although the similarities end there, as while Londoners are the most likely to consider social housing, Welsh millennials are the least.
Pippa added: “When it comes to finding somewhere to live, over half of our millennials found their current accommodation by searching online. Digital-savvy Northern Irish millennials are the most likely to search online for accommodation, at 70%; however, this drops to 44% in the South East.
“With preferences for searching and receiving information changing so quickly over the past few years, housing associations, housebuilders and lettings and estate agents need to accelerate their ability to reach the millennial audience through its preferred online channels.”
Want to learn more about the millennial housing puzzle? Download the Millennial Housing Survey ebook for free here.