Parents, local house prices and leaving home in Britain21 Aug 2017
Leaving the parental home is a significant step in young adults' housing careers and pathways to independence. Although a large literature examines how life course trajectories influence leaving home, much less is known about how the “linked lives” of parents and the local cost of housing shape young people's departures from the family residence. By enriching the U.K. Household Longitudinal Study with house price data, this study investigates how parental attributes and the geography of local housing costs influence home leaving in contemporary Britain. The results show that higher local house prices are associated with delayed departure from the parental home, although the relative magnitude of this effect is modest. By contrast, the effects of parental factors are more nuanced. Parental characteristics have little impact on the odds of leaving home to form partnerships, whereas the likelihood of departing to live alone or in shared accommodation is reduced by parental homeownership or living with both biological parents. Taken together, these findings suggest that young adults' residential pathways are shaped by the complex patterns of choice and constraint that are generated by disparities in family circumstances and local opportunity structures.