Studies reveal impact of COVID-19 lockdown
HOUGHTON — Since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions in March, 2020, research facilities and even websites have had time to conduct, gather, examine and analyze results, on the impacts the restrictions have had on Michigan residents. Overall the reports are not good.
One such survey, conducted by internet game platform, spider-solitaire challenge.com, found that 54% of Michigan residents who responded indicated the game platform was used to keep users’ minds mentally active during the COVID lockdown.
Spider-Solitaire Challenge conducted a survey of 3,000 to find out how many have experienced the dreaded pandemic brain, stated the internet platform (see spider-solitaire-challenge.com/pandemic-brain), and moreover, how we’re attempting to keep our minds sharp.
“Overall, over half (54%) of Michiganders say they have experienced pandemic brain,” the report states, “so if you’ve noticed a decline in your cognitive abilities during this time, you’re not alone – in fact, the national average is 48%. Moreover, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) found they’ve been making more mistakes at work over the last year.”
The site explained that it had received dozens of comments over the last year from users who stated “how our spider solitaire platform became an outlet to keep them mentally active during the pandemic. It made us wonder how the pandemic impacted mental health across the country. We found that 48% of Americans suffered a mental slowdown during the pandemic, or what we call Pandemic Brain.”
Broken down by state, the report found that more than half the Michigan respondents (54%) reported what the platform refers to as “Pandemic Brain.” The percentage for Wisconsin is significantly lower, at 49%, while Minnesota was still lower, at 34%. The study further found that one-third of the Americans who responded to the survey believe that Generation Z “lost out the most during the pandemic.”
An unrelated survey conducted by ISoldMy House.com confirmed that belief. According to that source, a survey of 3,500, found that 1 in 3 young Michiganders have “boomeranged” back to their parent’s homes over the past year (poll).
ISoldMyHouse.com was established in 1997 and is an online real estate website that focuses on helping homeowners sell their home and keep the most amount of money in their pocket, the website states.
The survey found that in Michigan, 35% of young adults (18-35 years old), have moved back in with parents, and 20% of parents in Michigan say they feel burdened by this. Of that percentage,15% say they have had to delay retirement plans in order to support their adult children.
Michigan compared to a national average of 36%.
“And aside from free housing,” the report states, “the research found that 16% have received financial support from their parents.”
The average rent for homes increased 7.9% over the past year, the real estate website stated. In some urban areas, the surge has climbed as high as 12%.
“This is a result of urban renters in pursuit of more living space (possibly brought on by spending months on end in their homes during lockdown), a well as ongoing pressure from aging millennials,” the report states. “In fact this represents the largest spike in rent for single-family homes in nearly 15 years.” The report added that moreover, house prices have increased 26% over the past year, diminishing any hopes of getting onto the property ladder.
“‘Boomerangers’… ‘Going Nowhere Generation’… ‘Growing Ups’… ‘Failed Fledglings’… Whichever term you choose to associate with the rise in adult kids moving back in with their parents,” states the report, “it has led to significant changes in living arrangements for everyone involved. Whether it’s a result of the red hot real estate market, the pandemic-hit economy, or simply a desire to save money by moving back home, many parents whose kids have boomeranged have had to alter their retirement plans and finances in line with having a full nest again.”
The survey found that in the majority of cases, boomerangers are falling back on their parents, not out of necessity, but rather as a move to improve their own finances.
“Whether this growing boomerang trend is a good or a bad thing depends to a certain degree on who you are asking,” the report said. “Is moving back in with parents a sign of failure, or a shrewd financial move designed to put young adults in a better position when they finally fly the coop? According to the survey, moving back in with parents is a prudent move – a whopping 2 in 3 (72%) ‘boomerangers’ feel this is the case!”
On the other side of the coin, however, the returning home of adult children has left many aging parents with justified resentments. The survey revealed that many parents are not overly enthusiastic about the situation – 20% of parents in the Great Lakes State say they feel burdened by having to house their non-rent paying tenants. This is perhaps unsurprising – 15% say they have had to delay retirement plans in order to support their adult children. Moreover, 1 in 3 parents who had previous intentions to downsize the family home, are now unable to do so. In fact, over 1 in 5 (22%) say they are considering upscaling in order to accommodate them.
Some parents may hope that this current boomerang generation represents a temporary pandemic-bolstered blip, likely to resolve itself as restrictions are eased and the economy expands. However, the reality is that the pandemic amplified a trend that has been on the rise over the last few decades. Indeed, sustainable economic independence has been steadily receding and fewer young adults are getting married. Kris Lippi, of the real estate website has tried to justify the boomerangers’ actions, saying:
“Although moving back in with parents can be seen as a step backwards, looking at it from a sociological point of view, what has happened is entirely predictable – this generation of young adults have been priced out of the real estate market in a way that their parents never were, and many have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. If moving back in with parents helps young people’s mental and financial health, then it has to be a positive thing to do.”
Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com and the real estate broker of Get LISTED Realty. He is also a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council, a technology enthusiast, veteran of the United States Air Force and Iraq war veteran.