Multi-generational households typically occur when adult children (over the age of 25) either choose to, or need to, remain living in their parent’s home, and then have children of their own. These households also occur when grandparents join their adult children and grandchildren in their home.
It’s back… multi-generation living that is! About 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a home with their adult children or parents back in the 1950s. A Pew Research Center recent report shows the number multi-generational households dropped to as low as 12% in 1980 but has seen a steady rise to 19%, roughly 60.6 million people, as recently as 2014.
The top 3 reasons for purchasing a multi-gen home:
- To take care of aging parents (19%)
- Cost savings (18%, up from 15% last year)
- Children over the age of 18 moving back home (14%, up from 11% last year). Ah, the millennials!
Generations United Executive Director, mentions,
“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.”
For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living,” says,
“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 give reason to some of the rise in multi-generational living.
- Asian and Hispanic populations are more likely to live in multi-generational family households and these 2 groups are growing rapidly.
- Women are a bit more likely to live in multi-generational conditions than are their male counterparts (20% vs. 18%, respectively).
- Basic economics.
Carmen Multhauf, co-author of the book “Generational Housing: Myth or Mastery for Real Estate,” highlights the fact that rents and home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that,
“The younger generations have not been able to save,”
and often struggle to get good-paying jobs.
As home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory we’re only going to see multi-generational living rise. These households might be the answer that many families are looking for instead of the more common nuclear home.