Analysing Youth Perception on Housing Arrangements

In the European Union, half of all young people between the ages of 18 and 34 live with parents. Like many countries in the Mediterranean region, Malta, at 60%, has a relatively high number of young people living with parents when compared with countries in the northern Europe such as Sweden (22%) and Denmark (17%). While there are positives and negatives in young people living with parents, as this report points out, most young people in Malta living in the family home do not do so by choice but because of mainly financial reasons. The report also highlights issues of gender, property renting/ownership, and state supports. 

Living at home provides young people with security and comfort but most make the transition to independent living if later rather than sooner. Our new national youth policy Towards 2030 – Reaching out to, working with and supporting young people, has a particular focus on facilitating young people, has a particular focus on facilitating young people’s transition to adulthood, from family life to independent living , and empowering them to make decisions and choices that shape their lives and futures and taking responsibility for those decisions and choices.

This report makes an important contribution to our understanding of the issues that impact on young people’s making “a home of there own”

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Introduction

MISCO International was commissioned by Agenzija Zghazagh and kunsill Nazzjonali Zghazagh to carry out a research study among young people aged between 18 and 35 Years. The key objectives of the study were to gain an insight into the challenges faced by young people in order to meet their housing arrangements and potential challenges perceived. 

The evidence obtained has been divided into four sections, each one covering a different aspect of the research study carried out. They relate to the respondents current and preferred living arrangements, the rental situations, the respondents financial situation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals current and future housing arrangements.

Methodology

The questionnaire was designed by Agenzija Zghazagh and revised by MISCO International. It was available in both Maltese and English and took approximately 10 minutes to administer.

Just under one in ten responders (9%) (Chart 2) who are still living at home, note that this is not by choice. Twenty-three percent (23%) of respondents aged between 31 and 35 agreed that living in their familial home is not by choice. Employed individuals, especially those working full-time, are slightly more likely to want to more out of their familial home.

Most respondents (Chart 3), particularly females, point out that financial reasons are holding them back from moving out. 20% of both males and females are currently in transition and 9% cited family issues as being the reason for not moving out. Respondents currently in transition are 26 years old and older.

The majority of the 142 respondents who have moved out of their familial home are currently living with either spouse (48%) or partner (26%). Sixteen percent of respondents live alone, most of whom are males (73%) and aged between 26 and 300 (48%), (Chart 4) Respondents making a yearly gross income of between €30,000 and €40,000 are significantly more likely to be living alone. Just under two fifths of respondents (39%) moved out between the age of 24 and 27, whereas 24% moved between the age of 20 and 23. Chart 5 shows the distribution.

All respondents were asked to identify their ideal housing arrangements. Just over half of the sample population (57%) agreed that they are happy in their current situation and would not like it to change. Around a quarter of respondents (23%) would prefer to own a home, indicating that a section of the age cohort interviewed seems to be facing difficulties in owning their home. Fourteen percent would rather live with their family. Responders aged between 21 and 30 are slightly less likely to be happy in their current situation than respondents in other age bands. Among individuals who are still studying. 16% would rather live with their family and 12% would rather own a home. The only individuals who mentioned that they would prefer to rent an apartment, yearly make €30,000 or less. Chart 6 shows the preference to housing by gender.

Most respondents (91%) (Chart 7) agreed that their current housing situation has not affected their well-being, Most of the respondents whose well-being has been affected by their housing situation are aged between 26 and 30. Around a quarter of Non-EU nationals (21%) also consider their housing situation to affect their well-being. (48%) (Chart 8) agreed that their mental health has been impacted by their living arrangements. Just one half of the respondents who live in the southern harbor and whose well-being has been impacted noted that this was mostly due to lack of space at home.

Rental Situation

Three quarters of respondents who have moved out of their famialial home are currently living in an owned property. Males are respondents aged between 21 and 25 are more likely to currently be living in a rented property. The majority of non-EU nationals (94%) currently live in rented property. Chart 9 shows the type of property young people moving from their familial home are living in.

Just under three fifths (58%) of the respondents currently living in a rented property, consider the current rental market stable. The older the respondent, the more likely they are to consider the market to be unstable whereas married individuals are significantly more likely to considerthe rental market stable. (Chart 12) shows how young peoplefeel regarding their contact. One tenth of respondents living in a rented property do not have a contract whereas 55% have a rental contact renewed every year, and 12% renewed every six months. Yearly contracts seems most common amond both maltese and Non-EU nationals, Most of the responders (64%) who do not feel secure with their type of contract, currently have a yearly renewed contract. Males and respondents aged between 31 and 35, are more likely to feel insecure with their contract type.

Financial situation

Around two-fifths of respondents (42%) who moved out of their familial home did not receive financial support when they moved out. Females are slightly more likely to have received financial support when they moved out of their familial home (Chart 13) The majority (78%) (Chart 14) of respondents who received financial support were provided support through a bank and 10% through a third party. The majority of those who received financial support form both a bank and a financial party were females (58%). Moreover, individuals who only received financial support from a third party have a yearly gross income between €10,000 and €30,000. Most respondents (86%) identified the third party as their parents (Chart 15)

Twenty three percent of those individuals who only received financial support form a third party noted that they had tried to get a bank loan. Over three quarters of respondents (77%) who did not received any financial help when moving out, noted that this was because they did not need it (Chart 16).

Most responders (89%) who took a bank loan when they moved out noted that they did not encounter any problems. Among the 11% of respondents who encountered problems 41% were considered to lack a stable income and 32% were not eligible for the requested amount.

All respondents who have moved out of their famial home were to asked to identify the percentage share of their income that is allocated to their housing situation. One fifth of respondents noted that they allocate less that 10% of their income to their rental bill or montage payments, some of whom pointed out that this was because they lived in a family owned property. Thirty-eight percent of respondents allocate between 10% and 25% and 21% allocate between 26% and 50% of their housing arrangements (Chart 20)

All respondents irrespective of whether living in their familial home or not, were asked to identify any type of support they would like to receive from the Government Chart 21 shows that 48% of respondents noted that they would like support when buying 24% would like support when renting and 14% mentioned more social housing. Almost half of the Gozitan respondents (49%) asked for support when buying and 36% asked for support when renting. Other types of support mentioned include an increase in incentives for first-time buyers/students, lower interest rates on loans and more control on property prices and rent

The Impact Of Covid-19

For most respondents (93%) for housing situation has remained the same ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The other 7% of respondents who were affected by the pandemic either lost their housing (2%) or found new accommodation (5%). (Chart 22) Those who lost their housing having a yearly gross income between €10,000 and €30,000. Most respondents (63%) who had to find new housing noted that this was because of self-quarantine. Around one fifth of all respondents whose housing situation was affected by the pandemic (19%) noted that this change was because they could not afford rent since they lost their source of income.

80% of all respondents perceive their future housing situation not be impacted by the pandemic and 12% and uncertain ( Chart 23). Males(15%) seem slightly more uncertain than females (8%). Chart 24 shows that just over one third of respondents (31%) who do not consider their future housing situation will be impacted negatively, note that this is because they personally own their property and another 27% consider themselves to be financially stable.

Conclusion

Females seem slightly more likely than males to have moved out of their familial home and, those who have not, not less likely than males to be still living with family against their choice. Although women are more likely to be living in owned property other than rented, they are significantly less likely to lie alone, and the majority live with a spouse or partner.

Those that are still living at home not by choice mentioned mainly financial reasons for their current situation. This indicates the difficult that some young people may be facing to move into their own property.

Just over one-third of respondents expect support from government when buying property.

Where as just under one in four respondents expect support when renting and 14% of respondents stated that there should be more social accommodation.

Most respondents have not been affected by the global pandemic to have impacted their future housing situation. Nevertheless there is a small number of respondents who have had to look for alternative accommodation because of the impact of the pandemic. A significant decrease is noted in the percentage of individuals who have not been affected by the pandemic so far and believe they will not be impacted negatively in the future. The reason.