I have stated in this blog before that lifestyle is the overwhelming driver of home buying and selling. And the economy – along with our personal financial status – plays a heavy role in the decision making process.
The Department of Housing and Development just released its 2009 American Housing Survey, which really shows how the recession has affected Americans’ lifestyles. A recent USA Today article noted one data point I found particularly compelling, given its parallel to a recent Coldwell Banker survey.
According to HUD, large households with five or more people increased to 11.3 million, or 10% of occupied houses, and homes shared by two families grew slightly to 2.6 million. In addition, the number of homes that are co-owned or co-rented went up 26% to 3.4 million.
Coldwell Banker noticed this trend becoming increasingly more common earlier this year. In February, we surveyed our network of agents and brokers across the U.S. and confirmed that more Americans are becoming “Multi-Generational Home Buyers.” In fact, 37 percent of sales professionals surveyed noted an increase in people looking to purchase a home to accommodate more than one generation of their family over the previous 12 months.
“Financial drivers” were cited as the number one reason (39 percent) home-buyers were looking for a multi-generations home. Health reasons were the second highest response from Coldwell Banker agents at 29 percent. What’s even more important to note as we move ahead, is that 70 percent of Coldwell Banker sales agents believe that economic conditions may cause greater demand for multi-generational homes in their market during the next year.
While saving money is certainly an incentive for buying a home that accommodates multiple generations, the benefits go beyond just financial reasons. With two or three generations living under one roof, families often experience more flexible schedules, quality time with one another and can better juggle childcare and eldercare.
Hope you have a great weekend!