Rise of the multigenerational home 27th February 2019


Rise of the multigenerational home

With rising ages of first-time buyers and growing retirement ages, many adults are finding they are still living with their parents; either for financial reasons, to provide care or simply for the benefits of company. This has seen demand for multigenerational homes grow, with more investment in new builds, conversions and extensions.

A multigenerational home is defined as a household with:

  • Three or more generations of the same family living together; or
  • Two generations of the same family living together, consisting of parents and at least one adult child (over the age of 25)

Research carried out by insurance company Aviva found the number of young adults (aged 25-34) living with parents has increased by 37% between 2006 and 2016. This coincides with a 45% increase in house prices for first-time buyers.

The gap between earnings and amount borrowed has increased significantly. In 2017, the average amount borrowed was £137,000 which was 3.58 times the annual income. In comparison, the median amount borrowed by first-time buyers in 1977 was £8,376 which was less than double their yearly income.

study by the NHBC Foundation found that the number of multigenerational households in the UK increased by 38% between 2009 and 2014. 1 in 15 UK households (1.8 million) now contain two or more adult generations.

The study also identified some factors behind the increase, such as pooling resources to buy larger properties, providing support for older family members, helping with childcare and enjoying the social benefit of living with more than one generation of a family.

Many countries are seeing the same trend in growth of multigenerational living. Lennar homes are the second-largest house building company in the US and have helped over 1 million people find their new homes since 1954. Their ‘Home Within a Home’ caters for families of multiple generations living together.

Modern tools and design are helping homeowners create their ideal living space, with homes that possess privacy, separation and multiple functionalities – designing an area with the flexibility to be modified is an essential part of the multigenerational home.

It’s also important to consider the standards and regulations which apply to your proposals and whether adaptations to your home mean that it is classed as a separate dwelling; whether you intend to use it as such or not.

However, with an estimated demand for 125,000 additional multigenerational homes per year in the UK, the rise of the multigenerational home clearly presents an opportunity for UK housing developers.

Are you currently looking at home alterations to support multigenerational living? Or developing new houses with the flexibility for a multigenerational household? We can provide building control and structural warranties for projects throughout the UK.

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