Single Americans comprise a larger share of U.S. homeowners than they have in at least a century, new research shows.
The share of single U.S. homeowners reached a 118-year high last year, according to a Haus analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Single people comprised 38.4 percent of housing stock.
It is worth noting that the data only went back 118 years, meaning homeownership among singles is at the highest rate ever recorded.
What’s behind the rise? Generally, an overall higher share of single people in the country. According to the American Psychological Association, for example, about 40 percent to 50 percent of married couples in the U.S. divorce.
But different factors characterize singles of different age groups. Those under the age of 35 were more likely to never have been married, while single owners over 55 were more likely to have been divorced.
The increase in single-female homeownership has also outpaced that of males, which researchers attributed to the fact that women were more likely to be widowed, less likely to get remarried and comprise a larger percentage of the overall population.
Young, single homeowners are more prevalent in the Midwest and South, where homes are more affordable. In terms of cities, Des Moines, Iowa, had the highest share of single homeowners under the age of 35, followed by Detroit and Cape Coral, Florida.
As previously reported by FOX Business, Americans are optimistic about a potential home purchase this year. About 50 percent of people who plan to buy a home in the next five years say they feel better about their prospects when compared with last year. The main reason for that is because they have more income.
Nearly 100 million Americans said they plan to purchase a home within the next five years, including 27 million in the next 12 months, indicating “radical optimism” this year and beyond.
Despite low mortgage rates, affordability remains a concern. Homebuyers will continue to be constrained by a lack of inventory, particularly in the entry-level market. The total number of available homes for sale could even hit a record low, according to a forecast from Realtor.com.
So even for those who are able to afford a home, finding one they want to buy could prove challenging.