Housing's Big Game Changer: Marriage Delays

October 27, 2014

Marriage and real estate often go hand-in-hand. But a drastic decline in the number of married young adults is emerging as “one of the biggest game changers in the housing industry,” according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The share of 25 to 29 year olds who are married has plunged by nearly 48 percent for men and 43 percent for women since 1970.

“The housing market is unquestionably fueled by life stage changes, particularly the change of marital status and the addition (and subtraction) of children,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting notes in a recent blog post. “These changes significantly affect where consumers want to live and what kind of home and community they will choose.”

For example, according to the firm’s research, singles are more likely to rent and live in more urban locations, near entertainment and employment. Also, though cohabitation is on the rise, unmarried couples are choosing to live together at much lower rates than married couples. Marriage usually prompts a desire to own a home and the addition of children makes owning a home nearly a necessity, given education and space needs, writes Mollie Carmichael, a principal for John Burns Real Estate.

Source: “Delayed Marriage Equals Delayed Home Ownership,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting (Oct. 22, 2014)