Return of multi-generational households. Time to re-think?

Return of multi-generational households. Time to re-think?

The surprising findings contained in a new report on household demographics may cause you to reassess your long-term business and personal plans.

As property prices rise, multigenerational households are predicted to grow in popularity over time. A new report from Aviva suggests that based on the rate of growth seen in the past 10 years – and assuming house prices will continue to rise – there could be 2.2 million people living in multi-family households and 3.8 million 21–34-year olds living with their parents by 2025.

This is a huge generational change – with millenials now having a very different outlook to home sharing than Gen X, or even the Baby Boomers who went before.

And the really interesting thing is that younger people do not see this as being a negative trend. In fact, two in three (66%) people currently living at home with multiple generations in the house say the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

A synergy between house prices and multi-living increases

House prices are continuing to rise in the UK. Between 2005 and 2015, the average UK house rose in value from £184,000 to £279,00.

And in line with this, the number of adult children who still live at home with their parents has also continued to grow. According to figures for 2015, 23% of adults in the 21-34 age range live at home with their parents – that’s an estimated 2.8 million young people who have yet to enter the housing market.

So, why are young people failing to get on the housing ladder?

The need to save for a house deposit

The rising price of property – and the subsequent lack of affordable starter homes for people on lower incomes – is one of the main causes.

People still want to own, but need to move back home in order to save the relevant income that’s needed for a deposit on their first house.

According to Aviva’s research, when young adults were asked if they would consider living in a multi-generational situation for six months or more, the second biggest reason given for this decision was saving for a house deposit (57%) beaten only by caring for an unwell relative (71%).

And the practical benefits of multigenerational living can also be extremely positive.

A beneficial way to live

Sharing a larger house with many family members gives constant support and company to younger people, and also reduces overall living costs for the whole household – sharing the bills takes the weight of mum and dad’s shoulders too.

Aviva’s study shows that two in five (42%) of all UK adults believe living as part of a multigenerational household would be a positive arrangement – and this number jumps up to 66% for people already living in this type of household. It’s clear that the perception of ‘living at home with folks’ as a negative situation is out of step with the reality for younger people who have chosen to move back home.

Are you ready to become a multigenerational household?

If property values carry on growing at the current rate, it’s likely that we’ll see the number of multigenerational houses also continuing to grow.

And that means a reassessment of the functions of a ‘family’ home, and how we go about building, expanding and protecting these houses as they become home to a growing number of different generations all living under the same roof.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the implications for your business and your family.

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