Parents, local house prices and leaving home in Britain

Publication type

Conference Paper


Sait Bayrakdar

Publication date


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 United Kingdom 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 significantly reduce the likelihood that young adults exit the parental home to form co-residential partnerships or live alone/in shared accommodation. However, the magnitude of the house price effect is relatively small, although small price effects on annual transition rates can of course compound over time to create large cumulative disparities in young people’s life course trajectories. By contrast, the effects of parental factors are more nuanced. Parental characteristics have little impact on the odds of leaving home to form partnerships, while 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.


Area Effects, Young People, Households, Life Course Analysis and Housing Market


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