CDS Community Development Strategies
Multigenerational households were more common at the beginning of the last century, but declined significantly following World War II. During this time the United States experienced a period of economic expansion which manifested itself in widespread suburban development and an increased supply of single family homes. With home ownership as national policy, mortgages became widely available. In addition, suburban growth and a ready supply of spec homes across the nation accommodated a highly mobile workforce, resulting in many families being spread across several states.
Ultimately, this begs the question, if/when the economic situation improves for younger generations, will the recent rise in multigenerational households see another reversal? Most likely not. Home prices in most markets are headed to back pre-recession levels, reaching all-time highs. In many cities the competition for housing is fiercer than ever with the rise of dual income households and limits of suburban growth (potential homebuyers will only commute so far). These and other reasons provide a strong financial incentive for families to pool resources and share housing. This is more prevalent where culturally acceptable but even if it isn’t, it’s being considered more and more often. And not just for struggling Millennials. With the cost of senior housing increasing substantially, more and more aging parents are moving in with their adult children.
Lennar’s Next Gen: http://nextgen.lennar.com/
About the author: Kirby Snideman is an AICP certified planning professional with a focus in economic development and currently serves as a senior market analyst and project manager at CDS. Originally from Houston, Mr. Snideman has lived, studied, and worked in several places including Utah, New York, California, Iowa, Illinois, Oregon, and London, England.