More doubling up impacting housing trends

September 14, 2011

The latest numbers from the Census Bureau confirms what we've all been seeing: more people are doubling-up. Whether it's getting a roommate or recent grads staying with their parents, more people are living together than in the past.

Some 30 percent of households are doubling up, up from 27.7 percent in 2007.

This has big implications for the housing industry: that's 8 million adults not going out and living on their own. And while they wouldn't all be running out and buying single-family homes, they would be looking for some sort of place to live, whether its an apartment, a duplex or a McMansion.

The good news is this points to the pent-up demand for housing that is out there. These people will be moving out from their parents' basements. The danger, though, is thinking that demand is going to look like it will in the past. We're going to see these people choosing to rent much longer. They've been burned by the economy, are getting a later start on earning and have seen the housing crash destroy the finances of many. A positive is that they're going to expect better rental units. That means big business for remodelers that head out and foster relationships with multifamily owners.

Jonathan Sweet is the editor in chief of Professional Remodeler, an award-winning trade publication for remodelers and home improvement contractors. He started his career covering homes and small businesses at a daily newspaper and has spent more than a decade writing for several construction trade publications including Qualified Remodeler, Construction Pro and Concrete Contractor+Jonathan Sweet


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