On average, 700,000 new bundles of joy are born in Britain each year, but a new study suggests this figure could be set to diminish by over 7,000 by virtue of skyrocketing house prices.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s research was presented at The Royal Economic Society’s annual conference in Bristol in mid-April. The findings suggested that, faced with the ever-mounting costs of purchasing a home (with house prices up an average of nearly 290% since 1995) would-be parents not currently on the property ladder are ensuring their heirs remain very much a twinkle in their eyes.
Researcher Dr Cevat Giray Aksoy stated:
“Couples put off having children because they aren’t able to afford suitable accommodation.”
“These findings support the notion that housing costs exert downward pressure on the fertility outcome of young adults and that there is a connection between getting on the property ladder and building a family.”
Interestingly, for those who already own a home, the increase of house prices actually has the opposite effect; the research found the rate of births increased by 2.8% among existing homeowners against a 10% increase in house prices.
Notwithstanding the findings, the UK’s population is still on the rise, and more homes are needed than ever before.