Affordability Drives More Family Members to Buy Together

Multigenerational family having weekend lunch

© Klaus Vedfelt - DigitalVision/Getty Images

More family members are moving in together under one roof, a trend that may help many better compete in the ultra-hot housing market. With record-high home prices still climbing, family members who pool their money may be able to afford a larger, higher-end home.

Multigenerational households have been on the rise since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “I think [multigenerational households] could be a trend that’s here to stay,” Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the National Association of REALTORS®, told The New York Times. Families of Asian and Latino descent are the most likely to live with aging parents, Lautz said.

Fifteen percent of home buyers purchased a multigenerational property between April and June 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., according to NAR data. That was the largest share since 2012. The most common reasons for this move were to bring aging parents into the home and to have grandparents help with child care. Respondents also cited greater affordability as a reason for family members to pool their finances for a home purchase.

“There was no way that I could afford the cost of a house on my own,” Erin Wentz-Lesman, 41, a public school teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y., told the Times. In October, Wentz-Lesman and her husband, along with their two children, purchased a home with Wentz-Lesman’s parents, both of whom are 68 and retired. They purchased a five-bedroom home for $1.25 million.