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Home Alone

There is an interesting and demographically important trend toward solo living. Today 35.7 million Americans live alone representing 28% of US households. That is up from 13% in 1960 and 23% in 1980, according to the US Census Bureau. The trend relates to delayed or foregone marriage, longer life expectancy, increased urbanization and rising wealth, all of which is prompting more Americans to go solo.

The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article about the trend noting that consumer products companies are focusing a lot of attention on the lucrative market for singles. Refrigerators and ovens are shrinking, food companies are producing more single-serving options, and Betty Crocker is finding that singles are not using the extra time without a mate to cook because they are too busy.

From a real estate perspective this trend is driving developers to deliver more studios and one bedroom apartments. Historically one bedroom and two bedroom units were roughly equal, but not now. Today two bedroom units comprise, on average, approximately 35% of the units. Keep an eye on this trend for your business because it will have important implications.

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