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Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

Living with parents may become a growing trend in SA as it is overseas

The number of households where adult children will move back in with their parents, or ageing parents will move in with their children, is set to increase in the next few years, says Rudi Botha, chief executive of mortgage originator, BetterBond.

Writing in the BetterNews newsletter, Botha says he believes multigenerational housing will be one of the biggest property trends of the next few years.

He quotes the finding of a survey by US home-building company PulteGroup that among respondents with children aged between 16 and 30, about 14 percent had at least one of their children back living with them after leaving home.

Another 31 percent of respondents expected at least one child to "boomerang" within five years.

Among respondents with living parents, 15 percent had parents living with them, and a further 32 percent expected to be sharing their home with at least one parent in the next few years.

The survey also found that although financial pressures were the main reason for multigenerational homes, nearly half of survey respondents said that family bonding was the best reason for living with extended family.

This reason was given by 46 percent of those with children living at home again and 48 percent for those whose parents were moving in.

"And although we have no similar survey statistics for South Africa, we expect a very similar trend to emerge here, not least because of the difficulty that young people have now in qualifying to buy their first home, and because of the rising costs of home ownership, which are especially difficult for retired people to contend with."

The trend, Botha says, will have a significant effect on the property market.

"A very large percentage of the survey respondents who said they were accommodating additional family members or were planning to do so also said they were planning to renovate their home or buy another one to provide the extra space they needed.

"That translates into a lot of people who will be providing work for additions and alterations contractors, and many who will be looking for larger homes in the next few years."

And what additional space will these home owners want most?

Survey respondents said the most important features to support an extended family comfortably included separate living spaces, such as a granny suite, additional bathrooms and bigger living rooms.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

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