Multigeneration Dilemma in Housing

Multigenerational homes are back! In the ’50s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to Pew Research the number of multigenerational homes dropped to as low as 12% in 1980 but has increased to 19%, roughly 60.6 million people, as recently as 2014.

Multigenerational households typically occur when adult children (over the age of 25) either choose to, or need to, remain living with their parents and then have children of their own. These households also occur when grandparents join their adult children and grandchildren in their home.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Guide to Buyers and Sellers, 11% of home buyers purchased multigenerational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:

  • To take care of aging parents
  • Cost savings
  • Children over the age of 18 moving back home

Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United, explains,

“As the face of America is changing, so are family structures. It shouldn’t be a taboo or looked down upon if grown children are living with their families or older adults are living with their grown children.”

“We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

This shift can be attributed to several social changes over the decades. Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living. The Asian and Hispanic populations are more likely to live in multigenerational family households. These two groups are growing rapidly.

Additionally, women are a bit more likely to live in multigenerational conditions than are their male counterparts (20% vs. 18%, respectively).

Rents and home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. We find that younger generations aren’t able to save money and quite often struggle to find a good paying job.

 

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