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Why is multigenerational living becoming a growing trend?

Mar 11, 2022

image of family sitting together with grandparents

Multigenerational living may be about to make a strong comeback, so mum, dad and parents better get ready because the kids (and maybe the grandparents) are moving back in.

What is multigenerational living?

While not uncommon, multigenerational living is where two or more adult generations live under the same roof.

Since the 1950s, multigenerational living has been in decline in Australia, with the younger generations encouraged to buy their own home and follow the great Aussie dream. However recent figures now show that this often forgotten way of living is on the rise, with a 2020 study by the University of New South Wales finding that 20% of Australians are now living in a multi-generational household. We suspect that this number could be even higher now since the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the property market and forced many people to move back in with their families.

Why consider multigenerational living for your family?

In many parts of the world, multigenerational living is quite common and sometimes a long-standing tradition. It’s also an effective living arrangement to bring the cost of living down for each individual by sharing resources.

If you’re considering multigenerational living as an option for yourself, your adult children and or your aging parents, it might help to know this communal lifestyle can bring some great advantages over a nuclear household.

Benefits of multigenerational living:

For example, multigenerational living arrangements can lead to greater housing affordability, shared running costs, dual careers, avoidance of high childcare costs, built-in after school care and aged care which can be very expensive and stressful on a family. Not to mention just an all-around stronger family network.

Why is this trend on the rise?

It would appear that the sudden rise in multigenerational living could be put down to just a few things. Young adults are staying at home much longer, finding it harder and harder to afford to rent or buy their own place.

Parents are also becoming more liberal in their thinking and not as rigid as previous generations with a greater understanding and more flexibility about different living arrangements.

With an aging population who are encouraged to stay in their homes for as long as possible, this can mean aged care homes are not always the best option for our parents.

Of course, it’s not all roses and for some families, this idea would simply not work. However, with some careful planning and research, talking through the pros and cons and laying down some ground rules, multigenerational living can be a great success that can provide meaningful benefits for all family members for many years.

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