At last month's Leading Real Estate Companies of the World conference, a speaker topic stood out that I found particularly interesting. Eric Klinenberg, who wrote Going Solo, discussed how single Americans make up the majority of our Nation for the first time in history. Over 50% of Americans are single, and the rise in people living alone is one of the greatest social changes that we have seen.
The real estate market, and all businesses in general, will be greatly affected by this shift and they are taking notice. The largest group of singles are between the ages of 35 and 64 while the largest peak in singles is in the under 35 year old group who appear to be opting to delay marriage or starting families. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in our big cities. It has become an urban phenomenon, where in some cities (like NYC), one in two people are single.
It is not exclusive to the cities, however. More and more suburban developers are catering to this new demographic. The concept of "living alone, together" has largely driven the new construction of luxury condominiums with smaller apartments and all the amenities singles are looking for. Multi-family homes are another pick for many single buyers as owning a property with the added assist of a rental unit has significant appeal. The "walkability" and sense of "community" is important to this lifestyle and has triggered a growth of new businesses throughout the country. If one thinks that this trend is predominantly found in the United States, that is far from true. In fact, we fall far behind many countries including Sweden, Norway, Germany and France just to name a few. "Modern Family" continues to take on new meaning and evolve and the ever changing demographics continue to fascinate me.
Contributed by Deborah Doern, Larchmont Brokerage Manager