UK’s NHBC Foundation has published an interesting research report, which elaborates on a new opportunity for developers to build homes for households, which contain two or more adult generations. As of now, the sector is one of the least exploited as builders continue to meet demand for housing in high growth areas.

Multi-Generational Living

As the UK’s leading independent standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes, NHBC has urged the developers to tap into the expanding market in multigenerational living. Today, majority of the developers are focusing on building houses faster for the millennials and young professionals as the housing crisis continues to remain unresolved in the UK while the prices are spiralling out of control.

However, it is interesting to note that there is a sizeable demand for multigenerational living. “More than 1.8 million households in Britain contain two or more adult generations, yet most homes on the market continue to be built to a traditional family home layout, without consideration for the shift towards multigenerational living,” NHBC Foundation report “Multigenerational living - an opportunity for UK house builders?” observed.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Estimated demand for additional multigenerational homes per year in the UK is 125,000
  • Nearly 7% of UK households contain two or more adult generations
  • Four out of five multigenerational households are White British, although some ethnic minority groups are more likely to adopt this lifestyle
  • Multigenerational households are typically not large - the average two-adult generation household contains three people and the average multigenerational home has three bedrooms


Interestingly, the multigenerational households in the UK increased by 38 per cent between 2009 and 2014. This can be attributed to the rise in the number of adults aged over 25 living with their parents. In contrast, the number of multigenerational families with grandparents living with them remained static during this period.

Two-thirds of people surveyed as part of the report believed the solution to Britain's ageing population would be multigenerational living. The report suggests how builders could develop layouts suitable for multigenerational living, with self-contained areas for privacy alongside shared communal space.

According to the NHBC Foundation report, multigenerational living is much more established in other parts of the world, such as USA, Singapore and Japan. House builders there have developed specific designs aimed at the sector.

The report offers a great insight into multigenerational living and developers, while addressing the issues relating to the UK housing crisis, could also take this new trend into consideration. Modular housing or pre-fabricated construction technology could be employed to meet the growing demand for multigenerational living.