News & Media
Five people from three generations tand in front of a house
yongyuan, E+, Getty Images

Push for Multi-Gen Housing Tied to Fear of Senior Living Homes

While cultural and financial concerns push demand for multi-generational housing, more adult children now think it’s also a way to keep Mom and Dad safe as they age.

NEW YORK – As the pandemic continues, more homebuyers are looking for properties that can house their older family members. The goal for these buyers is to keep their aging family members out of senior living – particularly group setting facilities, which have been on heightened alert during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This, in turn, translate into higher demand for larger homes that can accommodate more family members, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The National Association of Realtors®’ 2020 Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers found that buyers have been more likely to purchase a multigenerational home since the start of the pandemic – 15% versus 11% prior to 2020.

Homebuyers in the survey cited multiple reasons, such as the health and caretaking of aging parents and relatives, cost savings, the desire to spend more time with aging parents and relatives, and the need for the delayed independence of children. They also said buying a multigenerational home allowed them to pool multiple incomes to purchase a larger home.

Meanwhile, occupancy at assisted-living facilities and independent living centers decreased by more than 2.5% in each of the last two quarters since the pandemic, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Home builders increasingly try to respond to the call for homes that can accommodate multiple generations, such as with two primary owner suites, including one on the main floor. Lennar Corp., a homebuilding giant, says it expects to increase its line of Next Gen homes by more than 20% compared with last year. M/I Homes says it has debuted a new floor plan that includes a separate multiroom space on the main floor of the home that can serve as a room for an aging parent or home office.

Builders of accessory dwelling units – backyard houses that can serve as separate living quarters – report a rapid rise in business since the pandemic began.

“We’re hearing stories about how people went to visit their family members and couldn’t go into the facility and talked to them through the window,” Daniel Blumenkrantz, analyst at Urbaneer ADU, a Freehold, N.J.–based company, says. “We figured there has to be a way around this.”

Urbaneer ADU will install an accessory dwelling unit on a property and charge an installation fee, often ranging from $7,500 to $10,000. The customer then pays $2,000 a month for a minimum of five years, and the company removes the cottage when it’s no longer needed. On its website, the company says that the cottage plus in-home care is cheaper than assisted living, which likely would be dependent on the person’s health circumstances and location.

Source: “COVID-19 Is Giving the Multigenerational Home Business a Big Boost,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 12, 2020) [Log-in required.]

© Copyright 2020 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688