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People who live alone are more likely to be renting

The cost of living alone has hit 92% of income, making it far harder for single people to get a foot on the housing ladder, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

The data reveals that the number of one person households is continuing to rise, up 16% to 7.7 million over the two decades from 1997 to 2017. This is projected to hit 10.7 million by 2039.

The biggest expenditure for single households is housing costs including rent and bills, the study has found.


Those in the 25 to 64 age group who are living alone are less likely to own their home than couples, at 50% of households versus 75% respectively.

This means people living on their own have less opportunity to accumulate wealth through buying their home or paying off a mortgage, with some having benefited from increasing property values.

Tom Gatzen, co-founder of ideal flatmate, said: “While we are currently seeing an upward trend in single occupant living as a result of a growing population and social factors such as an increase in divorce rates, we are also seeing a similar increase across other living habits such as co-living.

“While living alone is more prevalent across older age groups, we’re seeing a growing preference amongst younger generations to live in share households. This is not only helping them to address the financial issues head on but can also help with other disadvantages associated with living alone such as a lower level of wellbeing.

“If properly considered and developed, this lifestyle trend could go some way in addressing the predicted uplift in those living alone over the next two decades and the negative impact that this could have on this segment of the population.”

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