The steep decline in the number of marriages in the U.S. among the population aged 25 to 29 has been a key factor in the slow recovery of the housing market, according to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC).
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2013 American Community Survey, the percentage of men in the U.S. who are married has declined by 48 percent since 1970, while the percentage of married women has fallen by 43 percent for that same period. Since life stage changes such as marriage drive the housing market, the fact that more and more people are remaining single until later in life is keeping many of these people from buying homes, making the declining number of married persons in the U.S. "one of the biggest game changers in the housing industry," according to JBREC.
The JBREC report found that not only are singles more likely to rent instead of owning, but they are more likely to live in areas close to entertainment and employment. Also according to the study, the number of cohabitating couples in the U.S. has steadily increased in the last few decades, and the rate of homeownership among cohabitating couples is far lower than that of married couples.
The desire to own a home is often ignited by marriage, according to JBREC. Also, the addition of children to the family greatly increases the need to own a home due to the need for a yard, more space, and social needs – and delaying marriage often coincides with delaying the addition of children, thus in many cases further postponing homeownership.