Housing and Divorce RatesAccording to the American Economic Review, there's a correlation between today's housing dip and divorce rates. The study shows that the economy of 2011 has reaching social affects. Home prices and their decline could possibly affect marital stability. Divorce rates have declines in the past few years. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 1996 that 50% of marriages ended in divorce. In 2009, the figures were more like 46%. The Great Recession and Marriage survey done by the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project said almost 40% of couples who were considering a divorce or separation before the recession began put aside their plans to split up.
The AER used mathematical formulas to make up for the differences in education and wealth. They found that as home prices fell, divorce rates fell as well. When housing prices increase, the gains in equity make it easier for people to make payments on separate homes, leading to an increase in divorces. In other words, when jobs are a dime a dozen, credit is easy to get and homes are at the right price, people have an easier time to move on from their relationships and current situations. The opposite is true too. When jobs are hard to find, credit is hard to get and home prices are on the decline, people don't want to lose their homes as well as a spouse. This is even more true for homeowners who haven't paid their mortgages in a while and are "underwater."The high cost of divorce proceedings is also added to the entire picture.
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