The Rise in Multigenerational Living
My wife fondly remembers that when she was growing up, her Nan also lived in the same house as her. The extension to her family’s 3 bedroom semi provided another bedroom (which was converted to a small kitchen) and a bedsit room in which her Nan lived for many years. Back in the 1970s, the concept of a Granny Annex was quite unusual but it provided a great self contained environment for the elderly relative, within the safety and security of the family home.
Nowadays, this idea of multi-generational living is much more prevalent – with grown up children still occupying the family home alongside Mum & Dad and often grandparents too. According to The Aviva ‘How We Live’ Report a third of adults are living in a multi-generational household (i.e.where adults from different generations live together at the same address).
Of course in some cases, the situation has been as a result of Lockdown with some adult children returned home during lockdown, or households taking in an elderly relative to support them at this time. But this spike in figures reflects a picture that has emerged over the past generation – and looks here to stay. The report suggests that:
- A third of UK households are multi-generational, mainly due to adult children living with parents
- Older relatives account for 14% of multi-generational set-ups – compared to 9% in 2016
- Lockdown accounts for only a small proportion of multi-generational arrangements
- A quarter of “granny flats” are designed for grown-up children
- A fifth of annexes / granny flats are being developed with lodgers in mind
- Granny flats are most popular in London: up to a fifth of homes have one or are planning conversions
The most common type of household in the multi-generational category is one where adult children are still living at home with parents, accounting for nearly two in five multi-generational homes. ‘Boomerang’ children – where grown-up offspring have returned to the family home after university or adult children living with their parents WHILE they study at university or college increases this even further.
However, there are also a considerable number of older relatives who live with their families, usually for health or financial reasons. According to Aviva’s report, 14% of all multi-generational households (1.28 million homes) fall into this bracket – and this is becoming more and more popular. It’s easy to understand why this type of set-up could grow further still.
Now with elderly parents of our own, my wife and I have considered this situation for our own Dads who now live alone and my Wife’s experience of having her Nan at home whilst growing up demonstrates that it can work really well.