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Living with parents: Zoomers’ dramatic struggle

Living with parents: Zoomers’ dramatic struggle

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
21.05.2024 17:00

The housing crisis in Europe is raising property prices daily, leaving Generation Z unable to afford their own place and forcing them to live with their parents.

For many members of Generation Z, the transition to adulthood involves significant changes such as going to university, finding their first serious job, and living independently. Suddenly, parents they saw every day become people they drop by just for a Sunday dinner. However, not everyone can afford the freedom they crave. Many members of Generation Z cannot afford to rent a room or a flat due to the European housing crisis.

Generation Z must live with parents

The cost of renting a house in Ireland has risen steadily since 2013. The Guardian spoke to a representative of Generation Z, who requested anonymity. "My friends from college all live with their parents or relatives – it’s not for a lack of ambition, it’s just so expensive. It’s kind of been normalised," says Connor.

The 25-year-old adds that he lived in a rented room for a while, but the rent was too steep. Connor is doing his best to save up enough money for a deposit and buy a flat, but he is aware that this can be difficult: "Some say, ‘I’m screwed; I’m going to be living with my parents forever.’"

Research shows that the number of young people living with their parents has increased dramatically in Ireland. EU agency Eurofound reports that between 2017 and 2022, the proportion of working 25-34-year-olds living with their parents rose from 27% to 40%. This is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world.

Connor adds, "The situation is not ideal – you want to be independent and look after yourself. If you’re in a relationship, it can be challenging, too. Having your own space is really important to grow."

Spain's Generation Z also faces the housing crisis

EU Eurofund reports that Ireland is not the only country where the number of young people living with their parents has increased. The situation is similar in Spain, where the proportion of Generation Z living with their parents increased from 35% to 42% between 2017 and 2022.

Laura, who is 30 years old, has lived alone for over ten years. The problem arose when her contract for a flat in Barcelona ended. Initially, she was supposed to live with her father for a while until she could find a new place.

Speaking to The Guardian, Laura said: "I’ve been looking for a flat for six months now with no success. I’m looking to live on my own for a rent of €1,000. The other day, I saw an ad for a €990-a-month flat with no windows. In the ad it said, ‘For those who just want a place to sleep and save money.’ I’m in a privileged situation – I have a degree and a good job – but despite this, I feel the system failed me. I’ve done everything I was meant to do but I can’t even have my independence. All my millennial friends have this feeling – we discuss it a lot."

Housing crisis in Portugal

EU Eurofund is sounding the alarm: the percentage of working Portuguese aged 25-34 living with their parents has risen from 41% in 2017 to 52% in 2022. This increase is attributed to the liberalisation of the housing market and a surge in the popularity of short-term rentals. Working members of Generation Z are finding it increasingly challenging to secure affordable accommodation without it significantly impacting their finances.

The problem arises when members of Generation Z become caught in the middle. Often, young people run away from home to escape a toxic family environment. When they can't afford to live alone, their mental situation deteriorates, harming the psyche of young people who simply want to live without constant judgment and criticism.

Source: The Guardian

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