Today’s home buyer population is moving away from traditional patterns, according to researcher Rachel Drew of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A larger slice of the market today consists of unmarried couples, same-sex partners, and unrelated roommates. “The decline in married couples, among younger buyers, is almost entirely offset by growth in unmarried couples,” Drew notes. “You’re not actually seeing a decline in two-adult households. [Unmarried couples] are much more likely than a single person to buy a home. They’re acting like married couples.” And when it comes down to saving for a future wedding and reception or a down payment, real estate website Redfin says more couples would rather spend that $35,000 — the average cost of nuptials and a honeymoon — on a home. Despite the shift in attitudes, some analysts insist that marriage is still a key driver of homeownership. “It’s a pretty straightforward link,” declares Richard Green of USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate. “Married people buy houses. Single people rent.” | Read More