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In the U.S., there are 33 million one-person households, and living solo is also becoming an international trend, MSN Real Estate reported. (AP Photo/File)

Going it alone: Singles make up 25 percent of market

More Americans are opting to live alone, with single buyers making up a quarter of all home purchases last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In the U.S., there are 33 million one-person households, and living solo is also becoming an international trend, MSN Real Estate reported.

Why are so many living alone? People are marrying later, divorcing more, and living longer, sociologists say.

Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist and author of "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone," said that young adults ages 18 to 34 are the fastest-growing group of people living alone. Solo households are also mostly women: 18 million women live alone versus 14 million men. The majority of solo households are in cities and metro areas.

One-person households may be drawn to more low-maintenance homes, but for resale reasons, they still place a high value on being in a highly rated school district, agents say.

Being a single buyer can pose challenges, particularly in a post-recession market. Qualifying for a mortgage may be the biggest obstacle for single buyers, since they don't have the advantages of dual incomes or shared responsibly that a two-person household does.

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