Northern Ireland Family's opting for multi-generational living

Aug 18, 2015

Elderly parents moving in with their adult children is nothing new or uncommon. What is relatively new, however, is adult children moving back in with their Eldery parents.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of 20 to 34-year-olds living with their parents has increased by 25 per cent over the last decade. In 2013 there were 3.3 million 20-34 year-olds living with their parents.

The main reason is a shortage of affordable housing which makes it so difficult for young adults to get on their feet on the UK property ladder. Walking straight into a highly paid job is no longer a given for many graduates, and with the high cost of renting further prohibits them saving for a deposit.

The answer to this problem for many families is multi-generational living. Typically, families making this move will look for ancillary accommodation, such as an attic or a self-contained floor. Separate entertainment areas, such as a second living room or, for properties in the country converted barns, are also desirable so entertainment can take place outside the main residential house.

Families finance the move to bigger properties in a variety of ways. The older generation are sometimes equity rich, have inherited money or are able to borrow to finance a bigger house. In other instances, parents are trading country houses with land for townhouses which, though they might have small gardens, can more easily be divided into separate flats.

For most families this type of multi-generational living is not a long-term solution. After a few years of living rent free, the younger generation can usually  afford to buy somewhere of their own at which time parents generally downsize again.

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