Household formation has long been a driver of real estate. The type of household drives the product demand. A delay in household formation of young adults temporarily suspends demand for starter single family homes and move-up rates. The Great Recession caused economic uncertainty among young adults and perhaps delayed household formation, continuing the cultural trend to delay marriage.
Cohabitation continues to rise as marriage rates decline. Living with an unmarried partner is more common than marriage among those aged 18 to 24 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The trend for 25- to 34-year-olds is similar as the percentage of those living with a spouse declines and those living with a partner rises.
Living with a partner used to be so rare that it wasn’t measured. Given its rise, the trend became a data point that was specifically tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau. Notwithstanding the long term trend, in the last ten years, when the data was specifically measured, cohabitation changed little for young adults, while it increased for those over 25-years-old.
Today, 30% of young adults ages 18 to 34 are married as compared to 50 years ago, when 59% of the cohort was married, according the U.S. Census Bureau. Married couples have higher earnings compared to those couples who are living with a partner and not married. The U.S. Census Bureau points out that the marriage rates for less educated groups have fallen at a much faster rate than the more educated groups with higher incomes. Young adults with more income security tend to have higher marriage rates and spur demand for purchasing single family homes.
Greenwich is well know for its superior schools and attracts residents who appreciate an excellent education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 24% of the Greenwich population is under 18 years old. Over 58% of the adults over 25 years of age have a college degree and 98% have a high school degree. A high percentage of highly educated residents continues to bode well for Greenwich real estate.