1 in 5 delay having children due to cost of housing

28 August 2012

Photo of a couple outside some flats

One in five 31-44 year olds who don’t have children are delaying starting a family because of the lack of affordable housing. 

More than one in four (26%) of those who decided to wait say they have been doing so for five years or more.

The figures, revealed in a YouGov survey commissioned by Shelter, represent a 63% increase since 2009.

High house prices and the large deposits required by lenders mean growing numbers of people are unable to buy a home, with one in three first time buyers over the age of 35*.

Now Shelter is calling on the Government to take radical action to stop an entire generation being held back by the desperate shortage of affordable homes.

Kay Boycott, Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter, said: ‘It’s heartbreaking that so many people are being forced to put their lives on hold in this way.

‘The Government has a responsibility to act now to ensure that today’s young people and the generation after them aren’t denied something as basic as a proper home to raise their children in.’

Netmums founder Sally Russell said: ‘One of the most basic requirements to raise a family is to have a family home, yet this is becoming increasingly unattainable for many people today.

‘Sadly for a number of these, leaving it too late means they may never be able to have children. For others, it could mean both parents forced to work full time when their baby is tiny just to keep a roof over their heads.’

  • Lauren and her partner made the decision to delay having children. Read their story here.
  • Sound familiar?  If you’re waiting to start a family because of your housing situation, we’d like to hear from you. Tell us your story. 

* The government’s English Housing Survey shows that 32.3 per cent of first-time buyers were aged 35 and over between 2008 and 2011. Of this number, 6.5 per cent were in their late-40s and early-50s.