Doubling-up or sharing a home with friends, roommates or family members isn’t new, but it is on the rise. Colorado’s doubled-up households grew to 25 percent in 2017 compared to 20 percent in 2006, bringing the total to more than the Great Recession of 2007-2009, according to a report by Shift Research Lab.
While choices around housing are often driven by the cost of housing, many factors may come into play, such as childcare, transportation and other needs that make living in a multigenerational household advantageous. There’s no one profile of a doubled-up household – there are many.
Shift Research Lab reports doubled-up households are family members and non-family, are headed by single people, single parents, and married couples, and occur in all age groups. These households may live in a rented home or owner-occupied homes.
But the data reported shows some groups are more often in doubled-up households than others.
For example, doubled-up family households are more than twice as common as non-family with 405,000 in the family category and 155,000 non-families.
Age also weighs in with 20 percent containing children under six and 75 percent of those with children under five years of age headed by a single parent. An even larger percentage, 25 percent, include one or more seniors over 65.
Almost half of the family households, or 180,000, are headed by Boomers with Generation X heads of households a close second, at 153,000. Generation X are those born in the years between baby boomers and millennials.
In the 155,000 non-family households, millennials take the lead as head of household at 93,000. The predominant doubled-up non-family household is one containing roommates.
Homeownership tilts the scale toward doubling-up as well. More than half – 60 percent – of doubled-up households have the owner of the home living with them.
As time moves forward, changing demographics and shifts in housing affordability stand to affect the trend of doubling-up. The Colorado State Demography Office reports many Boomers are entering the 65+ age group, resulting in an increase of six percent per year. By 2030, the state predicts the 65+ group will rise to 1.27 million, a 77 percent increase from 2015. A majority of older residents have lived in Colorado for more than 20 years, and many say they don’t plan to leave.
Millennials, too, will continue to age and potentially increase their earning power, have children and experience other life changes that could affect their choice of living arrangements.
Read the full report at shiftresearchlab.org/projects/doubled-up-households-in-colorado.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.