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Living with family to become a trend

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24 Dec 2012

The number of households where adult children that move in with their parents, or ageing parents that move in with their children, is set to increase within the next few years.

Multigenerational housing is becoming a trend to watch in the property market.

This is according to Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s mortgage originator BetterBond, who says over the next few years multigenerational housing will be one of the biggest property trends.

He says the findings of a survey conducted by US homebuilding company PulteGroup, revealed among respondents with children aged 16 to 30, 14 percent already had at least one of those children back living with them after leaving home, and that another 31 percent expected at least one child to “boomerang” within the next five years.

Among respondents with living parents, 15 percent had parents living with them, and 32 percent expected to be sharing their home with one parent in the next few years.

Botha says the survey also found although financial pressures were the main reason for the trend towards multigenerational homes, half of survey respondents stated family bonding is the best reason for living with extended family – 46 percent for having children living at home again and 48 percent for having parents move in.

“And although we have no similar survey statistics for South Africa, we expect a very similar trend to emerge here, not least because of the difficulty that young people have now in qualifying to buy their first home, and because of the rising costs of home ownership which are especially difficult for retirees to contend with.”

The trend will have a significant effect on the real estate market, he says.

He notes a large percentage of the survey respondents who said they were already accommodating additional family members or planning to do so said they planned to renovate their existing home or buy a new one to provide the extra space they needed.

Botha says that this translates into a lot of people who will provide work for additions and alterations contractors, and a lot who will be looking for a larger home.

Survey respondents said the most important features to comfortably support an extended family included separate living spaces, such as a “granny suite”, additional bathrooms and bigger living rooms.

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