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43% of COVID-19 “Boomerang Generation” leave the nest again


Dubbed the "boomerang generation" after moving back home during the pandemic, Australia's adult children have started flying the coop once more

A new, nationally representative Finder survey of 1,015 Australians found that 34% of households had an adult kid living at home during 2020.

Yet of those 343 Australians who either lived with their parents or had an adult child living at home in 2020, 43% say they no longer live together.

This coincides with declining unemployment figures which show the official jobless rate dipping from 5.8% in February, down from 6.3% in January.

The ABS estimates that this equates to an additional 29,100 jobs being filled as the economy continues to bounce back post-COVID-19.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said that moving back in with parents offered a financial liferaft for some.

“The pandemic put a lot of people in a precarious financial position, but younger Aussies were disproportionately impacted by unemployment and underemployment.

“Many young adults returned to childhood bedrooms to do Zoom calls and retake their spot at the dining room table.

“It wasn't just young people moving back home either – there were also quite a few medically frail parents who moved in with their adult children.

“But as life returns to semi-normal, many who had lost work have once again found it, and in so doing, left the nest again,” Cooke said.

The research found that adult kids in Victoria (24%) and New South Wales (23%) were the most likely to live with their parents in 2020.

On the flip side, South Australian parents were the most likely to live with an adult kid (18%) during the pandemic, compared to just 12% of parents in Queensland.

Cooke said that as a renter, it’s important to have a financial back-up plan in case things turn pear-shaped.

“Not everyone has the option to move in with family if they lose their job. This is where having a rainy day fund is important.

“If you can't rely on your savings, consider moving into a share house or subletting to another roommate to lower rent costs.

“You may also want to consider things like renting out your garage or car space if you live close to the city or a train station.

“Otherwise, look at your current financial products and see if you could switch to a cheaper option – every bit helps,” Cooke said.

Did you live with your parents OR did your adult kids (21+) live with you in 2020?
No, I didn't live with my parents or have adult kids living with me66%
Yes, I lived with my parents20%
Yes, my adult kids lived with me14%

Source: Finder, March 2021 survey of 1,015 respondents

How to save on rent if you can't move home:

  • Find a new roommate. If you have an empty room in your current place, consider subletting it to a tenant to save on rent. You may need to move your home office elsewhere, but this will be worth it if you can split the rent.
  • Move elsewhere. If your lease is coming to an end, consider moving to a cheaper location or moving in with other people to save money. This can significantly reduce the amount of money you hand over to your landlord each week.
  • Capitalise on your spare space. Do you have an unused garage or storage space that you could rent out? The extra cash can go towards the weekly rent. If you live in an inner-city suburb, you may also be able to rent out your driveway or parking space.

Having trouble navigating the rental market? Visit Finder's Rental Hub for tips, advice and more.

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