Shifting Family Structure Hurting Homeownership

John Burns photo

John Burns

March 15, 2017

When researching our new book Big Shifts Ahead, we learned that 40% of all kids are born to an unmarried mom, and 32% of all kids live with only one parent.  Single-parenting has been on the rise for decades.  The expenses of raising children alone make it very difficult to become a homeowner.

Moms are three times as likely to be the single-parent, but single dads are rising at a faster rate.

  • 24% of kids live primarily with Mom (a 400% increase since 1960)
  • 8% of kids live with Dad (a 900% increase since 1960).

In our book, we identified four external influencers that have shifted demographics over time.

Most articles on falling homeownership have focused on two influencers – government policy and the economy.  Clearly, societal shifts (one of the four influencers) has also played a large role.

Many have questioned our forecast of a sub 61% homeownership rate by 2025 as overly bearish. If they would only just run the math themselves, they would realize that is where American homeownership is trending.

Building Market Intelligence™

Every week, we deliver analysis to over 40,000 subscribers with our Building Market Intelligence™ newsletter. Subscribe to our weekly BMI newsletters to stay current on pressing topics in the housing industry.

About The Author

John Burns photo
John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our services or if you would like to speak to one of our experts about we can help your business, please contact Client Relations at

Products and Services Mentioned

green check icon

Research Membership

Our research services enable our clients to gauge housing market conditions and better align their business and strategic investments in the housing industry. We provide a thoughtful and unique holistic approach of both quantitative and qualitative analysis to help clients make informed housing investment decisions.
green check icon

Proprietary Surveys

Our family of proprietary surveys provide clients with irreplaceable insights to support their housing-related business decisions. The analysis combines survey data and the harder to obtain sentiment to deliver a cohesive view of market conditions.
green check icon

Real Estate Consulting

Our experienced team of consultants helps clients make sound housing investment decisions. We thrive on their success and work with many clients over multiple years and numerous projects.

Latest Insights

Home Builder M&A Explodes in 2024
Industry Pulse: The mixed-use revival, your true self, and 65 redefined
Dear Consultant: How do you identify the best markets for apartment communities?