Cost of living causing more generations to live together | Fin24
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Cost of living causing more generations to live together

May 19 2018 13:30

Cape Town - There is growing popularity for multiple generations to live together, says Brian van Wijk, Just Property franchisee operating in Centurion East, Centurion South, Midrand and Moreleta Park.

With the rise in VAT, an expected hike in living costs and decreasing job security, multi-generational living is likely to become more and more common among middle class families, whose children in the past split from the nuclear family as soon as they completed their education, he says.

Lawrence Homan, owner of Just Property Margate and Berea, agrees.

“On the South Coast (Margate, Ramsgate and Shelly Beach), we have noticed a definite rise in multi-generational living. And there’s been a substantial rise in Durban’s Berea area on the rental side,” says Homan.

Both say the reason for this is simply the cost saving.
“It is becoming more expensive to live in an unsteady economic, political and social environment,” says Van Wijk.

“More families are therefore choosing this option to save costs and also to create a safer environment and security for all family members involved.”

Young adults help raise living standards

Young adults coming out of high school are remaining in the family home for longer, sometimes even up to their mid-30s, he says. These children usually contribute to the family income as a whole, raising everybody's standard of living.
"We find multi-generational living arrangements usually include the grandparents, their adult children, and those children’s children. But it is not unheard of for siblings and their families to move in together should they find themselves in financial straits,” says Homan.

Van Wijk has noticed that this living solution is being implemented on a greater scale in the older suburbs, where stands are bigger.

“In such areas, there is the opportunity to build an additional dwelling, either for children or for parents. We see it, too, in upmarket suburbs where the houses are big enough to accommodate several families, either within the home or in granny flats," he says.

Centurion stands out for him in this regard with such suburbs as Lyttelton, Doringkloof and Pierre van Ryneveld leading the way. Midrand shows the next highest uptake of this trend.

He sees less of this in Pretoria’s Moreleta due to fewer suitable properties, but when the property is suitable the buyers often turn out to be parents investing in accommodation where they’ll live in the house and their children can have their own flatlet on the property.

When it comes to selling a house these days, the agents often find that all alterations for such living arrangements have already been undertaken. Homes have been extended and altered so they can be used by an entire family.

“We see couples who would previously have downscaled, keeping their family homes for longer and even buying bigger homes,” says Van Wijk.

“These homes are extended and altered for the entire family. When it comes to selling such homes, we have no shortage of buyers looking for exactly this solution.”

In many cases older children or grandparents are living in granny flats, but Van Wijk says that in both rental and sale scenarios he is sees more and more grandparents sharing bedrooms and spaces with children.

“The parents - usually the owners paying the bond, or the tenant paying the monthly rental - will be using the main bedroom and the rest of the family members get divided into the other available bedrooms,” he says.

Homan says he is seeing the same thing in KZN, especially on the rental side.

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