Wave of Singles to Make Big Impact on Housing

Half of all American adults now live in one-person households, a rapidly growing number, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The singles demographic is likely to reshape multifamily communities and single-family home designs going forward, according to Builder Online.

In 1976, only 37 percent of adults were single. As of August, that percentage has bloomed to 50.2 percent, or about 124.6 million singles. It marks the first time that single Americans make up the majority of the adult population since the government began tracking such data.

“Thanks to the growth of single-adult households, floor plans will go from static to flexible as living arrangements change more frequently,” Susan Yashinsky, vice president of innovation trends for Waterford, Mich.-based Sphere Trending, LLC, predicts on Builder Online. “Analysts project that this group of adults will job hop more often, bring new types of living arrangements into the housing market (think friends buying homes together), and expect their environments to adapt to their frequently changing lifestyles as easily as picking a favorite Keurig coffee flavor.”

Affordability will be key, since single home buyers will have less income per household than dual-earner couples.

Also, “housing developments will need to embed elements of community that address the social aspects singles need, similar to what we have seen in multifamily new builds,” according to Builder. “Builders, developers, and designers who create housing for single consumers need to consider fresh concepts, such as communal sheds for lawnmowers and snow blowers, and even cars that can be rented as needed versus owned. Work/live spaces will evolve to reflect the growing number of entrepreneurs working from home. And, backyard cottages will bring solutions for related and/or unrelated adults sharing a single lot.”

Source: “More Americans Are Going Solo,” Builder Online (Oct. 6, 2014)

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