Who’s taking a bite out of the housing market? It’s the Sandwich Generation

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Americans who are sandwiched between caring for young children and older adults are also the ones who are getting a helping hand to afford a home.

According to research by Realtor.com, one in six Americans are in the “Sandwich Generation,” which is defined as someone carrying for a child or children younger than 18 while also helping with parents or grandparents.

Of this group, 33% said this arrangement has led to homeownership. Among the remaining two-thirds, about one-third noted the situation preventing them from buying a home, with the rest saying it kept them from paying off their mortgage.

“Unfortunately for home shoppers, affordability is still a big challenge in the current housing market, but for the Sandwich Generation, family support is providing a helping hand when it comes to finances,” said Laura Eddy, vice president-research and insight. “More than half of adults within the Sandwich Generation who receive financial support for family members report this support is helping them to afford a home.”

For nearly as many (47%), the support also is helping them save for retirement, added Eddy.

In some cases, the home they are acquiring is being passed through the family.

“It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves taking responsibility for the home of an aging or deceased family member and ultimately inheriting the home after they pass,” said Kendall Bonner, housing expert at Realtor.com. “With today’s increased home equity and state of current lending rates, it can be an extremely helpful way to get into the housing market, especially if they are not currently a homeowner.”

While Millennials, at 36%, make up the greatest portion of the Sandwich Generation, it impacts all age groups: Gen Z (30%), Baby Boomers (17%) and Gen X (16%).

The research found 43% of Millennials said being a dual caretaker helped them afford a home; however, 46% said this same situation is preventing them from buying a home.

See also:

  • Consumers ‘struggle to find positives’ in current housing market
  • In a difficult housing market, credit providers see demand rise for furniture financing

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