Multi-generational homes are expected to account for roughly 30 to 40 percent of new homes in communities where the floor plans are being offered, Roos said.
The Aliso Viejo-based New Home Company is rolling out a range of options for multi-generational living in the affluent Orange County suburb of Irvine, where the Asian population has nearly doubled in the last decade.
The company's floor plans include a self-contained suite attached to a main house or separate homes that share a common yard and pool. The company has reached out to Asian buyers by offering touches such as specially designed wok kitchens and dedicated music rooms, but the homes are also drawing buyers from other ethnic backgrounds, said Joan Marcus-Colvin, the company's vice president of sales, marketing and design.
"Although extremely popular within the Asian culture, (multi-generational living) is also something a lot of other people are having to deal with," she said.
Jim Park, vice chair of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, said he thinks multigenerational designs are a smart move, especially in light of Asian Americans' preference for new construction and the community's rising purchasing power.
"In my experience, people do move toward home products that are going to meet their needs better," said Park, who owns a real estate firm in San Diego.
Builders say the tendency to live together longer comes down to a matter of economics as families of varied ethnic backgrounds cope with the wake of the recession and the needs of aging parents, who may have seen their retirement savings depleted in the downturn.
"We see so many families that are living like this," said Jeremy Parness, Lennar's division president in Las Vegas. "There's so many different reasons, all driven mostly by economics."
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