But that’s not it. Homes have changed:
Median home values over the past decade have increased more than 25%, from $137,600 in November 1999 to $172,600 in November 2009 (the most recent
existing-home data available). Fewer people are buying detached, single family
homes–82% in 1999 compared to 78% in 2009–but more people are buying homes in suburban neighborhoods–46% in 1999 compared to 54% today.
And homebuyers have changed:
Buyers themselves have also changed. A smaller proportion of married couples are
buying homes these days; while married couples comprised 68% of all home
purchases at the beginning of this century, they represent 60% of all buyers
today. Single men and women have made up the difference–single men purchased 10% of all homes last year, compared to only 7% 10 years ago. Single women now
represent more than one-fifth of all home buyers–21% up from 15% in 1999.