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Atlanta One of U.S.’ Best Cities to Wed and Settle Down

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Atlanta is a great city to get married in – and that means great things for housing

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Metro Atlanta is the third-best area in the country to get married, according to a new ranking from WalletHub.

Analyzing three main factors – the average wedding cost; the amount of wedding facilities/services that are available; and the number of activities and attractions – WalletHub ranked 150 U.S. metro areas, both by the individual metrics and an overall score.

Here is how the top 10 broke down:

City Total Score Wedding Cost Rank Wedding Facilities/Services Rank Acivities/Attractions Rank
Orlando 75.78 47 1 4
Las Vegas 70.83 86 2 3
Atlanta 68.72 57 3 16
Tampa 67.28 32 17 6
Springfield, MO 64.08 3 36 50
Cincinnati 63.79 43 9 28
Salt Lake City 63.09 70 6 44
Miami 62.91 95 5 32
Boise 62.69 7 46 29
Tucson 61.79 17 56 10

Marriage and Real Estate

So, what does all that have to do with the buying and selling of homes? Simply, the marriage rate and the homeownership rate are intimately intertwined, and that is particularly true for the next crop of homebuyers.

According to the latest “America at Home” survey from NeighborWorks America, 43 percent of Americans plan to purchase a home only after marrying or moving in with a life parter. That statistic was part of a broader question on what milestones would precipitate a home purchase, and marriage was by far the most pivotal event in respondents’ homebuying decision; by comparison, only 9 percent cited graduating college as cause to buy a home.

And on top of that stat, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that the marriage age in the U.S. continues to rise – the median age for first marriages since 2000 has risen from 26.8 to 29.3 for men, and from 25.1 to 27.0 for women; in 1959, the ages were 22.5 for men and 20.2 for women. Furthermore, research from Zillow has found that in the 1985-89 timespan, 52 percent of first-time buyers were married, yet as of 2005-13, that share has fallen to 40 percent.

So marriage, in short, will play a big role in the future of housing, and it stands to reason that metro areas with strong marriage networks will see their housing markets thrive as a result.

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