Leaving home is main sign of independence

Struggle to get onto the property ladder is the main barrier to flying the nest

A new study suggests that the point at which we truly become independent is when we leave the family home.

Four in ten baby-boomers polled by first direct said that leaving the family home was their first post-childhood memory of independence and nearly two thirds of people believe this is still the biggest factor to taking control of their lives.

However, 39 per cent of parents believe their children will become independent later in life than they did, rising to 47 per cent in Scotland and 46 per cent in the South East and East of England. The struggle to get on the UK property market is seen as the main barrier to independence with more than half those in Scotland citing it as a problem and nearly three quarters of those living in the east of England.

"What’s surprising to see from our study is that across the generations, from baby boomers to people in their 20s, flying the nest still remains the definition of independence," said Tracy Garrad, head of first direct. "But leaving the family home is not as straightforward as it used to be, with a squeeze on finances playing a big part in that."

Nevertheless, around 38 per cent of those polled in Yorkshire and Humber parents believe their children will become independent earlier in life than they did.

According to research from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank confidence in the property market has more than doubled across the UK, with more than half of homeowners confident that their home will increase in value over the next 12 months compared to only 25 per cent at the same time last year.

Those in London (80 per cent) and the South East (70 per cent) are the most confident while in the East of England confidence has grown most rapidly - homeowners are now more than four and a half times as optimistic compared to last year and two thirds believe the value of their home will rise in the next 12 months. In Yorkshire, homeowners are now over three times more likely to predict growth in property prices than a year ago

Andrew Pearce, Retail Director for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: "While some differences remain around the country, there has been a strong rebound in confidence in the housing market in the last year across the regions."

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