Am I a 'doomeranger'? If a new survey is to be believed then, yes, that's exactly what I am.
In a twist on the phrase 'boomerang generation' - used to describe young people who, not long after leaving home, move back in with their parents - some PR whizz has coined 'doomeranger' to mean adults who return to the nest years after moving out. These so-called doomerangers (who make up 14 per cent of the population) often have families of their own and have been forced back in with mum and dad after a bad break-up or financial problems.
Thankfully I didn't fit into either of those categories when, five years ago, I left London and moved back to the family home some 230 miles north. A combination of a career change and money tied up in property meant living with my dad was the perfect option: rent-free accommodation and a return to the familiar while I re-started my life.
In this respect, I do tick one of the doomeranger boxes. According to Churchill Home Insurance (who questioned 505 people who had moved back in with their parents), nearly one in five had done so because their cash was locked in a mortgage or rental payments.
Needless to say, financial pressures (55 per cent) top the list for returning to the family home years later, with respondents citing unaffordable rents elsewhere, a need to reduce their cost of living, the desire to save up to buy their own place and a pressing requirement to pay off debts.
Given the state of the housing market, it's hardly surprising that so many people choose life with mum and dad over independence. As we reported yesterday, analysis of Nationwide data suggests that houses in the UK now cost a touch over 5 times the average salary, rising to over 9 times salary in London. As for rents, the average cost of renting a property outside London rose by 5.1 per cent in the 12 months to April, while tenants in the capital faced a 7.7 per cent increase, according to the latest figures from referencing firm HomeLet. That means the average rent outside London is now £764 a month. Within Greater London the monthly outlay for tenants is an average of £1,543.
Blimey, the family home looks positively appealing when you digest those figures. And there's always the prospect of dinner on the table and your washing on the line before you've had a chance to properly unpack.
But money matters aren't the only reason for, er, doomeranging. A quarter of those questioned said they gone back home following a bad break-up, saying they needed distance or independence from their ex-partner. Interestingly, the research revealed men are more likely to go through the humbling experience of becoming a 'doomeranger' after a divorce or separation. Does this mean that women are better at handling themselves in difficult times? Now there's some research I'd like to see.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: 'Separation or divorce is an emotionally traumatic experience and sometimes parents are exactly what we need to help us get through these difficult periods in our lives. The additional financial strain of having to keep separate properties often means it’s easier to move in with family, rather than try and find somewhere else to live.'
I'd just like to add that I no longer live with my dad. Although I do have nightmares about it.