Generation Rent Highlighted as Data Reveal U.K. Spending Habits

(Bloomberg) -- Britain’s generational housing divide is highlighted in figures published Thursday.

Rent accounted for almost 60 percent of total housing costs for people under the age of 30 in the year through March 2018, Office for National Statistics data show. By contrast, it represented just a 10th for those in their 50s and 60s.

Generation Rent Highlighted as Data Reveal U.K. Spending Habits

The figures underscore the plight of “generation rent” -- young people priced out of the housing market after years of soaring property values. The problem is most acute in London, where the average home costs almost 500,000 pounds ($650,000), even after a year of falling prices.

According to mortgage lender Halifax, the average age of a first-time buyer is now 31 and the downpayment needed is over 33,000 pounds, and 115,000 pounds in the capital.

With home ownership the increasing preserve of older generations, the ONS figures unsurprisingly reveal that households with heads aged between 50 and 74 spent almost a quarter of their housing costs on alterations and improvements. The burden of mortgage payments was highest for 30 to 49-year-olds, accounting for over 36 percent of their costs.

Households with heads aged under 30 and those in Northern Ireland spent the most on takeaway meals.

Overall weekly spending in the U.K. stood at 572.60 pounds after adjusting for inflation, the highest figure since 2005, the ONS said. Transport was the single largest area of expenditure, accounting for 14 percent of the total.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.