Report Cites Sharp Increase in Single-Person Households

Point2 Homes, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, says the concept of the traditional household is eroding, citing an increase in single-person households.

According to a Point2 Homes analysis covering 2008 and 2018, the share of single-person households increased in 83 of the 200 largest U.S. cities. The largest percentages were recorded in North Las Vegas, Nev. (44.3 percent), Frisco, Texas (35.4 percent) and Sunrise Manor, Nev. (32.3 percent). Fifteen large cities have a share of single-person households over 40 percent, compared to the 28 percent national average, while 98 other cities recorded a share between 30 percent and 40 percent.

However, most of these single-person households were renter-occupied, with only four cities recording more single homeowners than single renters: Augusta, Ga., Garden Grove, Calif., Alexandria, Va., and Salinas, Calif. In 25 of the 200 cities analyzed, condominiums accounted for more than half of the total number of owner-occupied dwellings for the single-person households, most notably in New York City (70.8 percent), Boston (69.2 percent) and Arlington, Va. (64.4 percent).

The report said in the past decade, the share of single-person households went up significantly in America’s largest cities. Whether they rent or own, residents from established urban areas are increasingly living on their own. Although the largest share of homebuyers is still represented by married couples – at 63% – single women are the next-highest significant cohort at 18%, followed by single males (9%).

The report said adding to the trend of the big city driving out one key demographic and encouraging single living, the number of unrelated people living together has gone up, as well. Defined as a multi-person household where at least one member is not related by blood, marriage, adoption or partnership to the other members, the rise in unrelated households and unrelated people sharing a home suggests that city-dwellers are moving in together in order to afford to live in their city of choice.

“The high, and increasing demand for housing in some of the busiest, densest American cities sends both home prices and rents into the stratosphere, pushing out many of the residents who can no longer keep up; this leads to a more scattered workforce and to cities losing their sense of community and continuity,” the report said.

Other highlights:

–Compared to 2008, the share of single-person households in 2018 went up in 83 of the 200 largest U.S. cities.

–15 large cities have a share of single-person households greater than 40%, and 98 cities reached a share between 30% and 40%.

–The share of unrelated people living in the same home went up 14% on a national level and has more than doubled in cities such as Mesquite, Texas; Miramar, Fla.; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Midland, Texas; Columbus, Ga.; and McAllen, Texas.

–In 2019, 63% of homebuyers were married couples, but single females continued to represent the second-largest homebuying group with a share of 18%, while 9% were single men.

–One-person rentals comprise more than 50% of households in New Orleans; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Cleveland; Atlanta; Cincinnati; Mobile, Ala.; and Washington, D.C.

–The share of owner-occupied single-person households surpasses renting households in four markets: Salinas, Calif., Alexandria, Va., Garden Grove, Calif. and Augusta, Ga..

–Twenty-five of the 200 cities included in the study are predominantly condo markets, consisting of more than 50% condos in 2018. An additional 81 are comprised of at least 30% condos.