What the housing crisis will look like in 30 years


We've been wondering what life will be like in 30 years if the housing crisis continues.

Right now there are concerns that those in their 20s and 30s are eating, drinking, wearing and driving what we would otherwise be putting into a mortgage, so when they reach retirement they'll have no house and no savings.

Inheriting your parents' home isn't a sure bit either - life expectancy is increasing so they may sell their house to fund their retirement.

The Retirement Commission says the biggest concern is people still having to pay rent or a mortgage when they are no longer earning any money.

That increases vulnerability and decreases quality of life.

The number of renters has grown by 25 percent in the past decade. But things wouldn't be as bad if we had good long-term tenancy laws, like in Switzerland and Germany where it's common for retired people to continue renting.

In Switzerland, 51 percent of people are long-term renters; 40 percent in Germany. These countries have long-term contracts which give tenants a better chance of planning for the future.

If affordable housing remains in short supply though we'll also see an increase in the numbers of people sleeping in cars, garages and on the streets.

Another possible effect of low home ownership is the birth rate taking a hit, which will reduce the size of the workforce and its ability to support their ageing parents.

But it can be hard to see yourself starting a family if you're living downstairs at mum and dad's or in a tiny rental.

So what to do?

The advice is if you can't buy at the moment get an aggressive savings plan going. Act as though you have a mortgage but bank as much as you can once you've paid your rent.

Then if the housing crisis ever ends at least you'll be ready to act.