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Multi-Generational Households Grow in Number

home-in-your-handsMore U.S. families are opting to live together in one household for a number of reasons, but these multi-generational homes could be hindering new household formation.

A report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that 14 percent of all households, or 16.5 million households, are living multi-generationally in the U.S. These numbers are on the rise for three reasons, according to the report:

  1. Delaying marriage has increased the number of young adults living with their parents.
  2. Surging retirement has increased the number of retirees living with their children.
  3. Significant immigration from countries where multi-generational living is the norm has also helped boost the numbers.

"Most of the U.S. housing stock was not built for multi-generational living, providing a tremendous opportunity for home builders," the report said. "According to our Consumer Insights survey of more than 20,000 new home shoppers, 44 percent would like to accommodate their elderly parents in their next home. Additionally, 42 percent of today's shoppers plan on accommodating their 18 or older children in their next home."

As for the larger picture, the U.S. housing market is still trekking down the recovery path, and although the market has not returned to its peak, it has made significant progress since crisis times.

The housing market's health was undeniable in the fourth quarter of 2015 with almost no chance of a downturn over the next year, according to Nationwide Economics' Health of Housing Markets report released in December.

The report credits the positive movement in housing to low unemployment numbers that spurred other actions in the market, which has increased renter and buyer demand.

"Local employment characteristics play a key role in sustainable housing demand—providing the income growth to spur housing demand. Household formations tend to accelerate as employment conditions improve, supporting further growth for both rental and owner-occupied units," Nationwide said.

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