It’s about time to give back to Mom and Dad – and numbers from the most recent study from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) that spotlights trends in American homeownership show that this is, indeed, the time.
NAR’s 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends reports a shift away from the young married couple homeowner prototype and more toward more Americans living in multigenerational homes, i.e., moving in aging parents into the family home. Nearly 79 million adults, or 31.9 percent of the adult population, in the United States, in fact, live in a “shared living” situation, an increase from 27.4 percent shared living adults recorded in 2004, which was before the crash of the economy and foreclosure crisis.
“This trend of parents moving in with their older millennial children is an interesting twist on the boomerang trend of younger millennials moving in with their parents,” says Laura Crowther, CEO of Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®. “It’s a different kind of shared living than a generation ago.”
And that’s closely aligned with the increasing age of Baby Boomers, as adult children need to care for their parents to put costs and convenience under one multigenerational roof. Today, 14 percent of adults living in someone else’s household are a parent of the homeowner, which is up from 7 percent in 1995. The boomerang trend, however, is down from 52 percent in 1995 to 47 percent today.
But it’s not only out of financial or medical necessity, it’s also because it’s becoming a preferred living option. With extended family in the same home, it benefits the adult children with live-in childcare, it helps to strengthen the grandchildren’s support system and it’s known to decrease the chances of developing dementia and depression in the grandparents.
Home searches for the multigenerational home buyer include a checklist such as separate, but unified, living spaces (private, separate floor or bonus rooms), neighborhoods that represent a wide range of age demographics.
“Our REALTORS® will need to take into account the special needs and wants of these shared living homebuyers, as well as their financial circumstances and specific location preferences,” says Crowther.