Will Multigenerational Living Lose Traction?

An multigenerational family sits together on a couch in their living room, brightly it by windows behind them.

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As home prices continue to rise, housing experts see an ongoing effort by extended family members to pool their money to combine households and save on costs. But data suggests that rising home prices do not correlate to multigenerational living, according to a new analysis from LendingTree. Some current multigenerational households may be temporary due to the pandemic, the study’s authors suggest.

LendingTree researchers defined multigenerational households as three or more generations who live in the same home.

“The long-term impact that the pandemic will have on multigenerational households is still unclear,” says Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economic analyst. “With that said, while some people may have opted to move in with family during the height of the pandemic, that doesn’t mean that they planned on staying in a multigenerational home forever. … It does appear safe to assume that even with the disruption to usual housing arrangements caused by COVID-19, multigenerational households won’t suddenly become the norm in the U.S.”

Multigenerational households did increase during the onset of the pandemic. LendingTree’s analysis covered the timespan between 2014 to 2019, but data since the pandemic started has shown an uptick in demand. Eighteen percent of buyers between the ages of 41 to 65, many of whom fall within the Generation X age segment, purchased a multigenerational home during the past year, according to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report published in 2021 by the National Association of REALTORS®. The most common reason for those who purchased a multigenerational home was to take care of their aging parents.

Multigenerational living may be more common in certain states. For example, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado have posted the largest increases in multigenerational households over the past five years, according to LendingTree’s analysis. Between 2014 to 2019, multigenerational households have risen by an average of 12.34% across the three states, according to LendingTree’s research.