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Waiting Out the Housing Recovery

High rents, rising home prices and stagnant incomes have caused an unprecedented number of double households as people have moved in together to make ends meet.

This can be family combinations, friends and/or just roommates living in the same place waiting for something to change.  All these double households are changing the US housing landscape.  Experts believe there would be another 5.4 million U.S. households which are currently lost in basements and guestrooms, sharing space.

According to a study by Zillow, over one-third of working adults are living in double households which has increased the median household up to 1.83 adults, up from 1.75 in 2000.   This trend is concentrated in California, Florida and other markets where rent has increased faster than income.  In the Riverside, California metro area, Zillow believes, under normal circumstances there would be 12.6 percent more households than there are.

In the Sacramento area the percent of double households has increase 9 percent since 2000 to 34.3 percent of working adults.  During that time the median income for adults living in double households has only increased $5,000 to $30,000.  If the number of double households returned to the levels in 2000, today there would be 54,313 more households in Sacramento.

If and when the housing market adjusts in favor of buyers and the economic recovery continues, the lost households represent additional demand in the market as roommates begin to look for a new place to live.  In my opinion, the key to this happening is continued home affordability, more lenient credit standards and an increasing supply of rental and for sale homes all tied to income growth and the economy growing more quickly.

If you are a roommate or know of one who is ready to look for their own home, we can help you decide if now is the right time and answer any questions you have about the current housing market.  You can reach me at the MagnumOne Realty office in Roseville or send me an email at

Julie Jalone, wife and mother living in Rocklin, is an experienced professional Realtor ® serving the Greater Sacramento area including Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Julie may be reached online at or by calling (916) 276-6883
Check out her daily web blog: Keep it Real in Sacramento