Delayed Marriage Equals Delayed Homeownership

October 22, 2014

The share of 25–29 year-olds who are married is down by almost 48% for men and 43% for women from 1970. This single fact is one of the biggest game changers in the housing industry.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau: 1970 Decennial Census and 2013 American Community Survey; calculations by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC

What impact does this change in marital status mean for your housing strategies? It is huge!

The housing market is unquestionably fueled by life stage changes, particularly the change of marital status and the addition (and subtraction) of children. These changes significantly affect where consumers want to live and what kind of home and community they will choose. For example:

  • Singles are more likely to rent and live in locations that are closer to entertainment and employment, and these areas are seeing more demand today than they have historically.
  • Marriage usually ignites the desire to own a home with a variety of locational and housing choices depending on income and family present.
  • Cohabitation has certainly been on the rise in recent decades, but homeownership rates for cohabitating couples are much lower than rates for married couples.
  • The addition of children makes owning a home almost a necessity, given the need for yards, toys, education, and social circles.
  • Children moving out often results in lifestyle changes, including different social circles, home size, and floor plan needs. Locational preferences also begin to shift.

Our Consumer Insights survey of 22,000+ new home shoppers, coupled with our Housing Demand Model by Lifestage and Price Point, shows just how much housing preferences have changed. These preferences can vary widely by geography and price point, and our team can help you make sense of how these changing dynamics are affecting your market. For more information, please fill out this form.

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