Beyond the Nest: Young Adults in Multifamily are Less Likely to Live with Relatives
Young adults in multifamily properties are less likely to still be living with their parents compared to the overall young adult U.S. population, which includes those in owner-occupied homes and all rental housing.
Living Arrangements of Young Adults in Multifamily
Between a secular rise in college debt, tight entry-level job prospects, and rising housing prices, a headline-dominating trend over the past decade has been young adults (Millennials and Gen Z over age 18) continuing to live with their parents and guardians beyond the norms set by previous generations.
Specifically examining this phenomenon for the rental market, we segment young adult renters’ living arrangements into three broad groups:
In small asset multifamily, young adults living with spouses constituted a 32% share, as shown below¹. Those living with parents or guardians accounted for an 18% share. The remaining 50% either lived alone or with roommates.
The profiles for small and large asset multifamily are nearly identical. However, large properties had a slightly higher share of young adults in non-family arrangements (53%).
When looking at the entire young adult U.S. population, including those living in any rental property type or in owner-occupied housing, an entirely different trend emerges. The share of young adults living with family was more than double for the overall population, at nearly 39%, and was elevated in single-family rentals, at 33%.
Share of Young Adults Living with Family Declining
Bucking the broader U.S. trend, the share of young adults living with their parents or guardians is declining in multifamily. This complements an increase in those ‘tying the knot.’
Young adults living with their parents in small apartment properties declined by 1.1 percentage points from 2015 to 2017, as shown below. This matched an increase in young adults living with their spouse.
Large multifamily and single-family rentals showed similar trends. These asset types each experienced a 1.7% increase in young renters living with their spouse.
The rental market offers a stark contrast to the overall U.S. population. Between 2015 and 2017, the share of all U.S. young adults living with their parents or guardians surged by 8 percentage points, offset entirely by a sharp decline in those living with their spouse.
These trends are the result of the barriers to homeownership facing young families today. Heightened demand for multifamily and single-family rentals provides an opportunity for rental property owners.
1 All data is sourced from the American Community Survey (ACS), unless otherwise stated. ACS statistics are sample-based estimates of the compositional profile of the total population in the given year of data collection and include a margin of error.