February 11, 2018

Multigenerational Living Is A Housing Trends to Watch


There have always been multigenerational households here in Northeast Tennessee. But if trend watchers are right there's going to be more in the future.

2018 NETAR President

Kelsey Ramirez at Housing Wire wrote, "multigenerational living, where two or more adult generations live under the same roof, is becoming a growing trend. Currently about one in five, or 19%, of Americans now live in a multigenerational household. This is the highest level of multigenerational living in the U.S. since 1950, when 21% of Americans lived with their family, according to the U.S. Census Bureau."

The report focused on several studies that show developers and investors beginning to embrace the trend.  Neither Johnson City or Kingsport-Bristol Metropolitian Statistical Areas (MSA) were included in those studies, but that doesn’t' mean there's no data to benchmark the trend here.

The metro areas citied in the study were Salt Lake City, UT with a 6.1% increase and Houston, TX with 6.1% increase as multigenerational hotspots.

Here in the Tri-Cities the 2010 Census shows 3.1% (2,591 households) of Johnson City Metropolitian Statistical Area (MSA) had three or more generations. In Kingsport-Bristol the share was 3.4% (4,367 households.) The next count using that threshold won't come until the 2020 Census, but American Community Survey (ACS) studies offer some other insights.

ACS surveys don't cite the number of generations in a family household, but they do count the number of people and their relationships in family households. For instance, the 2012-2016 study compared to the 2005-2008 study shows the number of family households where grandchildren, brothers or sisters, parents, parents-in-law, son-or daughter-in-law or other relatives were present increased by 2.1% in Kingsport-Bristol. The Johnson City MSA showed a 0.1% increase because the counts where a son-or daughter-in-law and other relatives decreased the other classes of relatives increased.

The biggest increase is the number of grandchildren in family households - 4,119 in the Johnson City MSA and 9,727 in Kingsport-Bristol. The number of parents living with family members in the most current study is 1,822 in the Johnson City MSA and 2,170 in Kingsport-Bristol. The count for a brother or sister in a family household for the Johnson City MSA was 1,500 and 2,326 in Kingsport-Bristol.

In almost all cases the most current numbers are higher than the region's population increase during the same period.

According to the Housing Wire report, the PulteGroup, which already builds multigenerational homes, did surveys that found 31% of homeowners who had children aged 16 to 30 expect at least one child will be returning to their home in the future. And 15% of the younger people surveyed already have aging parents living with them while 32% expect to eventually share their home with a parent.

These are not examples of housing trends that will have an immediate big effect on the local housing inventory.  But it's something for real estate investors, and anyone with a focus on the long term should keep in mind. And it's just one of similar trends that when combined alter their local markets from yesteryear's norms.

For instance: The number of single, female buyers is increasing. That makes sense. Women are slowly assuming more top jobs; their share of advanced degree recipients is increasing, and while there's still wage disparity their earnings are increasing. And although millennials are not a dominate local demographic segment more of them are moving out of their relatives' homes – or rentals – and joining the ranks of homeowners.

These are just a few examples of the myriad of things real estate professionals watch and study because there's more to being a Realtor® than just selling houses. The folks at the National Association of Realtors®, the Tennessee Association of Realtors® and Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® are committed to keeping their fingers on the pulse of evolving real estate market trends, the political and regulatory movements that help or stand to erode property rights. It's what makes them the "Real Experts" when it comes to local real estate markets and better equips them to guide their clients to meting their real estate needs and goals.

Aaron Taylor is the 2018 president of the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors®. The real estate education and trade group is the voice for real estate in the Tri-Cities and has over 1,100 local Realtor® members and almost 100 affiliates.