Demographic Shifts are Changing, What’s Considered Desirable in Homes

Married couples no longer make up the majority of U.S. households for the first time in U.S. history, according to the latest census data. Married couples represent 48 percent of all households, which is down from 52 percent in the last census.

Meanwhile, “family households”–which includes married couples with no children–has bloomed from 45.1 million in 1960 to 77.5 million in 2010. And non-family households (people living alone or households where no one is related) has soared–increasing nearly five times in the last 50 years–from 7.9 million in 1960 to 39.2 million in 2010.

“These significant demographic shifts create opportunities to design and sell homes to a growing group who cannot find what they want in the resale market because the resale market was primarily built for families,” according to a report by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.
So given the growth in non-family households, what do these potential home buyers desire? Here are some of the findings from John Burns Real Estate Consulting:

Smaller home size. Non-family households tend to want less space than a family household–opting for a home under 2,500 square feet. A recent survey also found that more than two-thirds of non-family households tend to want no more than three bedrooms in a home too.

Location is key. Non-family households want a good location near work, entertainment, and shops. In fact, they consider the location more important than the size of the home.

Nothing over-the-top. Non-family households are less likely to choose extra amenities like media rooms, community pools, and tot lots.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine

Reprinted from with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”