Homeownership in the U.S. is still being held back by two key demographic and lifestyle trends.
The millennial generation has delayed marrying and delayed starting families, both traditional trigger points for moving out of multifamily rental housing and into homebuying.
These trends will continue to influence the U.S. multifamily market but to a smaller degree going forward.
Marriage Age Continues to Rise
The average age of U.S. adults at their first marriages has risen to historical highs. From 1960 to 2018, the average rose seven years for both men and women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the past 10 years alone, the average climbed by two years. In 2018, the average age was 29.8 years for men and 27.8 for women.
Marriage is closely associated with homebuying, and delays in the former are contributing to delays in the latter. Later marriages are keeping younger adults in rental housing longer and has contributed to the high U.S. multifamily demand in recent years.
Married couples are far more likely to purchase a home than any other household types, making up 66% of homebuyers across all age categories, according to the 2018 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Marriage Story More Complicated
Delayed marriage clearly helps explain delayed homebuying. Yet, the importance of marriage for homeownership is changing.