There won’t be a lockdown baby boom (until the property market thaws)

“Forced inactivity will not boost fertility rates. It could actually lead to a decline, where it coincides with economic uncertainty.”

Precarious finances are one thing, but we’re being told not to touch our own mouths, let alone anyone else’s. Is this the least sexy time in history? Even the Puritans had saucy hats.

The Baby Boomers emerged on a wave of euphoria after victory in the Second World War and millions of troops returning home. This time, we’re already home and scared about what experts fear will be the worst recession since The Great Frost struck Europe 300 years ago.

Despite the Government’s efforts, it seems certain millions of people will lose their jobs in the coming months, when state support is eventually withdrawn. Even the joy of a return to something a bit like normal life might not be enough to tempt couples into nest-building when they’re wondering how to meet next month’s mortgage payment. 

There’s another reason we’ve put plans for baby number two on hold, and it’s only partly related to being quarantined in Kent with my mother-in-law (see last week’s column). The real stumbling block is the near-impossibility of moving into a property big enough.  

While much of the economy is still moving, albeit very slowly, the housing market really has completely shut down. In a shock move, the Government told buyers and sellers to pause transactions, and even if you wanted to, banks have stripped back mortgage offers to only the safest, well-capitalised borrowers. 

Like most young(ish) people, we live in a flat that’s too small for two of us, let alone the boy and his growing collection of migraine-inducing electric cars – you know, the ones with the battery compartments only opened by miniscule Christmas cracker screwdrivers.