High house prices and difficulties getting onto the property ladder are having unintended effects on the population according to a study a think tank recently published, calling it the “fertility crisis”.
The research put together by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) revealed that young people are holding off having kids as it is too cost intensive to settle down.
Home ownership among young people (those aged between 25 and 34) has dropped significantly in recent years, from 60% in 2004 to 35% in 2014. The think tank has managed to connect this drop with the number of children that weren’t born as a result. In two decades, since 1996, it says 160,000 were not born due to young adults not being able to afford settling down.
The trouble many couples are facing to get onto the property ladder has led them to either put off having a family entirely or have smaller ones.
ASI calculated that whilst house prices have increased by 10% in the time to 2014, birth rates have decreased by 4.9% among renters. For homeowners the numbers have only decreased by 2.8%.
Andrew Sabinsky was in charge of the think tank’s paper and commented his findings:
“The housing crisis is a well-known immediate economic problem, but this report showcases how it is wrecking the lives of the people of this country, preventing them from having the children they want to have.”
“This private tragedy will, in the long-run, entail massive knock-on costs to public finances. Housing market liberalisation is something the government should do anyway, but this report outlines a new set of pressing reasons for it to act.”