PANDEMIC SPURS RISE IN MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS
Life circumstances can sometimes change on a dime.Such is the case of household living situations since the pandemic began, causing social and economic upheavals for many families.
After the stay-at-home orders went into effect in many parts of the country in March, the National Association of Realtors noted a 15% increase in buyers who purchased a multigenerational home compared with before the pandemic hit, compared with 11% in the previous year. NAR's vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, Jessica Lautz, says, "One in six home buyers who purchased during the pandemic purchased a multigenerational home. That's an increase from 1 in 10."
Intergenerational homes can be anything from two (or more) attached, fully functional units in a duplex model or one home that offers private kitchens and separate entrances, like a rental unit in a single-family house. Or they might also be a detached accessory dwelling unit, typically a smaller home, in the backyard of a larger house. Adult children concerned about placing their parents in nursing homes during the pandemic have simply decided to keep things in their own backyards, just to be safe. Parents whose older kids lack employment or can't attend college are included in this "pod" living situation as well.
The ideal is, of course, to offer the other generation a degree of independence, with separate entrances and separate kitchen facilities. And homebuilders have been and continue to step up to the plate to provide this arrangement. "As you might expect, homes intended for more than one family tend to be a little larger, by nearly 22%, according to NAR data. "The typical existing home is 1,880 square feet and costs about $270,000. Yet a multigenerational abode is roughly 2,290 square feet and costs about 10.7% more, with a $299,000 price tag." These larger, higher-priced alternatives also take into account the pooling of several incomes, according to NAR's research.
The figures released by NAR account only for recent purchases. "The actual number of intergenerational households that have formed since the start of the pandemic has actually increased by a staggering 61%."
U.S. Census data found that a record 64 million people—20% of the U.S. population—lived with multiple generations of adults in a single-family home.
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