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Housing and Multigenerational Households

The news in the housing market has been more good than bad lately.  Housing starts, permits, existing home sales, home prices: the data has been moving to the upside.  But what about housing demographics?

There are 76 million family households in the US.  In 2000, 3.7% of them were multigenerational homes.  In 2010, it was 4%.  Today, it’s 5.6%.  Not only are multigenerational households increasing, they have been increasing at a faster pace over the past few years, according to the US Census Bureau.

And the 1.6% increase in multigenerational living in the past couple of years amounts to a decrease in demand for 1.216 million homes.

Even more telling: a recent Pew Research Center study found that 39% of 18 to 34 year-olds live with their parents, or moved back in at some point in the past three years.

And the majority of these 18 to 34 year-olds say they didn’t move back home for economic reasons.  In many cases, they never moved out in the first place.  They are comfortable in a multigenerational household.  And because this is the prime age group for housing demand, this is the group that can really impact the housing market.


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