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Think tank warns high rents making young people less mobile

Young people are less likely to move around the country for better-paid work because of rising housing costs, according to a new report.

The report by the Resolution Foundation claims young people are less mobile than they were 20 years ago, mainly because privately-rented accommodation has become more expensive.

According to the report, the number of young people (aged 25-34) starting a new job and moving home in the last year has fallen from 30,000 in 1997 to 18,000 in 2018.

It adds that the cost of renting privately has risen by almost 90% the among highest-paying local authority areas, compared to just over 70% among the lowest paying, which ‘significantly’ reduces the benefits of moving around the country for work.

The report calculates that once housing costs are deducted, the average private renter moving from a low-paying area, such as East Devon to a mid-paying area, such as Bristol would have seen a financial gain of 16 per cent in 1997, compared to just 1 per cent last year.

Similarly, moving from a low-paying area straight to a high-paying area, such as Croydon would have seen a financial gain of 26 per cent in 1997, compared to minus 3 per cent last year.

‘A key reason why people move around for work is the lure of a bigger salary. But increasingly those pay gains are being swallowed up by high housing costs,’ said Resolution Foundation senior policy analyst, Lindsay Judge.

‘Of course, there are many good reasons why people don’t want to move around for work, from better job opportunities closer to home, to wanting to stay closer to friends and family.

‘But for young people in particular, there are real advantages to moving when it comes to trying new roles and developing skills – and housing should not be a barrier that prevents them doing this,’ added Ms Judge.

Labour’s shadow housing secretary, John Healey said the Resolution Foundation report was ‘proof of how badly the Tories have failed private renters’.

‘Labour is committed to giving renters the rights they deserve, including control on rents, indefinite tenancies and new legal minimum standards,’ added Mr Healey.

The full report – Moving Matters – is available to read here.

Photo by Quinntheislander (Pixabay)

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