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Nearly half of young adults in the US are living at home with their parents, and all that saved rent is fueling a luxury boom

Tourists carrying shopping bags walk through Times Square on August 10, 2021, in New York City.
Shoppers in Times Square.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
  • Nearly half of US young adults are living at home — a high not seen since the Great Depression.

  • They are helping fuel a luxury boom, Morgan Stanley analysts said.

  • Living at home is freeing up their budgets and leaving them with more disposable income for spending.

A record number of young adults in the US are currently living at home, and all that saved rent is sparking a luxury boom.

Recent data from the US Census Bureau shows that nearly half of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are living with their parents today. That's a historical high not seen since the Great Depression era, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a Friday note.

The analysts estimated that around 48% of young adults are living with parents in 2022, similar to levels seen in the 1940s.

The levels of young adults living at home peaked at 49.5% around 2020, coinciding with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data came from a Pew Research Center analysis, USA Today, the University of Minnesota, and Morgan Stanley research.

That's great news for luxury retailers, because saving on daily necessities like rent and groceries is freeing up disposable income for discretionary spending, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Edouard Aubin found.

"This is of course not the only reason luxury-goods consumers are getting younger in the West (social media playing also an important part) but we see it as fundamentally positive for the industry," the analysts wrote in the note.

Factors like high rental costs, enrollment in higher-education programs, and delayed marriage are also keeping young adults at home, the analysts wrote.

"When asked about the incentives to move in with parents, 51% of the young adults said that it was to save money and 39% of them said that it was because they could not afford rent," according to a December 5 survey from PropertyManagement.com. The survey platform Pollfish conducted the survey of about 1,200 US participants online on December 1.

Similar themes are emerging among British youth

Similar themes are emerging across the pond in the United Kingdom, where about 42% of young adults lived with their parents in 2021. That's the highest level on record based on data compiled from 1996 onward by the Office for National Statistics and Morgan Stanley research.

In the first half of 2022, imports of luxury Swiss watches into the UK rose 31% year over year, the Guardian reported in June, citing data from Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The watches on average cost about £6,000, or about $7,400 at current exchange rates. Sales of midrange watches — those costing below £2,500, or about $3,100 — were falling at the time, the Guardian reported.

The British luxury brand Burberry reported an 11% year-over-year increase in sales in the quarter ending in September. The luxury-goods maker LVMH, which owns brands including Dior, Tiffany, Moët Hennessy, and Louis Vuitton, reported a 19% year-over-year increase in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, thanks to robust demand from Europe, the United States, and Japan.

An Insider Intelligence report on September 14 found that the luxury-goods sectors in the US and China has bounced back during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but economic headwinds — like an impending recession — will weigh heavy on middle-class spenders.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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