The Housing Chronicles Blog: May column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the May issue of Builder & Developer magazine is now posted online.

For this issue, entitled "Multi-Generational Housing Goes Mainstream," I wanted to discuss the emerging trend of building homes for multi-generational households.  In recent months, the L.A. Times and Fox News have both interviewed me regarding this issue, so I thought this would be an opportune time to provide a more detailed analysis of what's going on.  As part of this column, I also interviewed Adrian Foley, President of the Southern California division for Brookfield Homes.

An excerpt:

Over the last year, the concept of multi-generational housing has been steadily gaining attention from the mainstream press, many of whom have been focused on the NextGen line of new homes offered by Lennar.   Lennar’s NextGen homes offer a ‘home within a home,’ offering its own private living quarters suitable for everyone from visiting in-laws or unemployed family members to unrelated tenants helping chipping in for the mortgage payment.  And yet Lennar is far from the only builder offering this concept, as variations from builders including Taylor Morrison, The New Home Company and even affordable housing providers such as Bridge Housing and Jamboree Housing Corp. have been built.

Although once quite common, the trend of living with relatives declined with the rise of the suburbs, but is now staging a comeback due to economic conditions.  For example, the share of multi-generational households approached 25% in 1940 before steadily dropping to just 12.1% by 1980.  By 2010, however, that share had rebounded back to 18.3%, and, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, is far higher for minority communities in which family elders are readily welcomed as active members of the household.  In 2009, 25.8% of Asian households, 23.7% of black households and 23.4% of Hispanic households included multiple generations versus just 13.1% for white households.  It’s also much more common for foreign-born households (24.6%) versus those born in the U.S. (15.6%).  The highest percentage of these households by age group included those 85 and older (21.5%), 25 to 34 (21.1%) and 55 to 64 (20.9%), which would point to the elderly as well as recent retirees and boomerang children...

To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire May 2012 issue in digital format, click here.

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