April 8, 2019
Marriage, a decision closely associated with home buying, is having some interesting impacts on the multifamily sector. Delays in marriage are contributing to delays in people buying homes. Research by CBRE shows that later marriages are keeping younger adults in rental housing longer, contributing to the high multifamily demand in recent years.
The average age of U.S. adults at their first marriages has risen to historical highs. In 2018, the average age was 29.8 years for men and 27.8 for women. By comparison CBRE notes, from 1960 to 2018, the average rose seven years for both men and women. Over the past 10 years alone, the average climbed by two years.
CBRE head of multifamily research, Jeanette Rice, wrote, “Delayed marriage clearly helps explain delayed home buying. Yet, the importance of marriage for homeownership is changing.”
CBRE says marriage rates, in general, are declining; 50 years ago, 72% of all adults 18 and over were married compared to 50% today. Also, the share of adults that have been married at least once (but may currently be unmarried due to divorce or widowhood) has fallen from 85% in 1960 to 67% today.
Non-married couples living together, single-person households and single-parent households are much more common today and are better represented among home buyers than in previous generations. For example, NAR reports that single women now account for 18% of home buyers.
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2018 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report found married couples are far more likely to purchase a home than any other household type, making up 66% of home buyers across all age categories.
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