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Swedes want their adult children out of the house

TT/The Local · 30 Dec 2009, 07:56

Published: 30 Dec 2009 07:56 GMT+01:00

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Seven of 10 young people aged 20 to 25 want to live on their own, but remain at home, according to a new poll by Novus Opinion.

Young people say that a chronic housing shortage and poor economy are driving them to live with their parents. Seven of 10 parents would like their 20-25 year-old children to get places of their own, according to the survey.

“This indicates that the housing shortage is far from being just a problem for young people. Entire families are feeling the effects of the country-wide housing shortage,” Barbro Engman, chairman of the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen), said in a statement.

Of the parents with children between 15 and 25 who were still living at home, half said that they were worried that their children wouldn't be able to find a place to live when the time comes to move out.

Six of 10 were worried their children couldn't afford to live on their own, while 40 percent reported that they were taking proactive measures to help their children, such as signing them up in the housing queue.

Story continues below…

The survey, commissioned by the Sweden Union of Tenants, polled 1,000 parents in major Swedish cities.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 December 30, 2009 by calebian22
It would be interesting to know what the 7 of 10 demographic, studied during gymnasium.
12:21 December 30, 2009 by Hagen
We have the same problem in Britain, Immigrants take what spare housing there is.

Young people have a massive problem to get an affordable place to live, in London it's simply impossible !
13:12 December 30, 2009 by Beynch
@calebian22; Indeed it would. It would also be interesting to know if any statistics are available as to the political proclivities of these stay-at-home "kids" are. Hence a story such as the one above can be bewilderingly misleading.
14:40 December 30, 2009 by Puffin
This is mainly a city problem - in many rural kommuns you could walk into the housing company today and be in a new apartment by next week. My kommun demolished 80 council apartments (very nicely located) a few years ago as they could not find enough renters.

However in the big cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Lund etc there are major shortages
16:08 December 30, 2009 by Gretchen
It comes down again to the fact that there is no proper rental market in Sweden. Why would someone want to build a house to rent out when you cannot even set the rent you want?

(by the way also the reason for the often terrible condition you read about of Hyresrät).

In no other country I have been there is this ridiculous rental property shortage.

And there seem to be not a lot shared accommodations students live in. Where I come from most students live together in a flat of 4 or 3 people and share the kitchen and bathroom. From Swedish friends I heard this is not common here.
19:17 December 30, 2009 by Mr. Puppy
This isn't a situation unique to Sweden, so Swedish policies aren't directly to blame, per se. Certainly the fact that the Swedish government hasn't done anything to solve this problem could be seen as Swedish policies failing, especially in a country such as this that gives a lot more trust and resources to government to solve problems than many other countries.

But everywhere I've been, no matter the government policies or the local culture or the economic system, young adults are having a much harder time moving out and living on their own than their parents' and grandparents' generations. I'm 21 and all of my friends around my age who moved out around 18 or 19 are now back at their parents after a stint on their own failed... the main reasons for failing are the fact that the cost of living is a lot higher and the wages people get paid are a lot lower than they were thirty or twenty years ago. These people are keeping their two jobs plus going to college part time (some full time) and still having to move back in with their parents to make ends meet.

I think Puffin makes a good point, though... Sweden has a ton of housing and room in the countryside. It's a pity that most Swedes are obsessed with ilving in the bigger cities because they are missing out on the vast majority of their country. But on the other hand, who can blame them when this is such a conservative and overregulated society? The distractions, hustle and bustle, bohemian options and anonymity of the cities makes people feel freer and that's one of the reasons Swedes are so attracted to cities rather than smaller or even medium-sized Swedish towns.
20:43 December 30, 2009 by wxman
Kick them out at 20 years of age and don't let them back in. The experience will help them mature. They will become hard working responsible people who benefit society.
01:25 December 31, 2009 by simepal
@Hagen :We have the same problem in Britain, Immigrants take what spare housing there is.

Your xenophobic manner of addressing issues whatever they are make it impossible for you to have inner peace...

Are you in anyway DEPRESSED or just acting Hagen all the time?

Get a life
09:27 December 31, 2009 by EGS
Housing market is usually under heavy regulations everywhere. It must be some restrictions that are preventing the construction of more houses to have that chronical shortage. Many well intended policies have bad results.
09:39 December 31, 2009 by California Girl 3
@Gretchen: This is definitely not unique to Sweden. It's a huge issue in parts of California as well. Trying to find a place to live anywhere around the Berkeley area, even in the 80s, was a nightmare. It's still frighteningly bad in the Bay Area, and increasingly what is available is flatly unaffordable for anyone without a very well paying job. Vienna is also notoriously bad...so bad, the joke is that giving up one's apartment to move in with someone is considered a much bigger sign of commitment than actually getting married.

@Mr. Puppy: I think the reason most people prefer to live in bigger cities in Sweden is the availability of jobs, just like in much of the rest of the world. Living somewhere in the middle of the countryside would be great, but then we'd also be unemployed, which would not exactly be ideal.
16:13 December 31, 2009 by efm
This is also a phenomenon in some parts ofthe USA, due to poor economic situation. It is not an immigrant problem! Use to be, Americans are the most mobile people, but the young adults are having a hard time finding good enough paying jobs to support themselves or are fired or are underemployed. Also, some of the retirees are now

going after the same jobs.

True, the housing cost is a big issue, specially in cities like San Francisco, Boston, etc.

It is not a unique Swedish problem.
01:00 January 12, 2010 by Investor612
Failure to launch problem in Swedish young adults. Interesting.
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