Home Advantage

Report Overview

Home Advantage analyses the current housing situation for the young and employed in London and offers innovative solutions to the crisis. This report is written by Kath Scanlon, Melissa Fernandez, Emma Sager, and Christine Whitehead.

Key Findings

  • Fewer than one in fifteen (6%) of new graduates who move to London come from the most disadvantaged fifth of UK local authorities. This contrasts to 42% that come from the most advantaged fifth of UK local authorities. Those from the South East find it easier to gain a foothold in the capital, with fewer than 20% of graduates moving to London from outside the South
  • Since 2001, London’s population has increased by 12%, but the housing stock has only increased by 9% during the same period. For many of the UK’s top jobs – in law, medicine and finance – London is the place to be, but young people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds, are being priced out of the housing market
  • High housing demand has left many young graduates caught in a housing trap, where rising private rents leave them unable to save for a deposit. The number of single people aged 25 – 34 living in shared accommodation has risen by 28% in the last decade and in 2014 there were only two London boroughs – Bexley, and Barking and Dagenham – where the average house price was less than eight times an average person’s income
  • The report warns that this has worrying implications for social mobility and has led to a growing imbalance between those who can turn to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ for support – whether by paying a deposit, guaranteeing a loan, or being able to provide accommodation themselves – and those who cannot. Data published in today’s report shows there are now more graduates (15%) living with their parents than on their own (11%)


To ensure that working and living in London is a realistic goal for bright young graduates from all backgrounds, the Sutton Trust and the authors of the report are urging candidates in the 2016 mayoral election to consider innovative and new types of housing schemes to address the supply-side problem. These are:

  1. Market-based student-type housing, which can enable young people to gain a foothold in the capital in the short-term, with a proven track-record of success
  2. Age-targeted privately-rented housing developments, which tailors housing design, amenities and business models to suit the needs of young professionals
  3. Factory built pre-fabricated housing, which produces simple housing quickly and at limited expense, providing effective transitional housing for those leaving university
  4. Covenanted privately-rented housing, where as a condition of planning permission, new dwellings remain in the private rented sector for a set number of years

September 16, 2015