Over the past five years, significant new trends have come about as Australian property buyers and renters continue to adapt to changing market conditions. One of them is the rise of multi-gen households, which have been steadily increasing since the 1980s, according to UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre.

Around one in five Australians lived in a household with two or more generations of related adults aged over 18 back in 2006. The trend is especially evident in Sydney, where property prices are more expensive than anywhere else in the country. However, Brisbane has experienced the greatest growth in multi-gen living among all capital cities, increasing by 51.7 per cent from 1981 to 2006 compared to Sydney’s 36.1 per cent growth.

This proves that financial pressure is just one of the reasons behind the rise in multi-gen living. Other reasons include the need or desire to provide care to a family member and children who want to save more for their first home and avoid paying rent for the meantime. Rising immigration—particularly from Asia—is another factor.

Most multi-gen households can be found in the middle and outer rings of Australian cities, which reflects the financial pressures among lower to middle-income families and the greater availability of larger homes in these areas.

Other rising trends include first home buyers purchasing an investment property in affordable areas and renting in their preferred areas, parents providing deposits for their child’s first home, siblings pooling funds to buy property, young families relocating to major regional areas, and families choosing apartment living over houses.