The housing market has always been more of a collection of regional markets than a true national market. The trend over the past decade has been that the housing market is become even more fractured. While this trend is likely to continue, there is one demographic that is increasingly important everywhere. Single women are a powerful force when it comes to housing, and their influence is going to get even stronger.
What’s Driving the Numbers?
While men have not been the sole wage earners in most households for more than a generation, only recently has the pay gap between men and women narrowed in an economically meaningful way. With increased access to money, women are enjoying increased financial freedom. Women are more likely to delay marriage than ever before.
Millennials are buying homes differently than their parents did. They often prefer small, stylish urban spaces, instead of sprawling suburban homes. Millennial women are more likely to buy their first home on their own. Location is key for this demographic. But, while millennials will continue influencing the housing market for decades to come, today it is older buyers that are powering changes.
Female Baby Boomers A Major Market Force
Baby boomers are the largest group of homebuyers in the market, and will remain so for years to come. However, it is in the baby boomer segment of the housing market that women are really influencing things.
According to the National Association of Realtors, single female baby boomers buy twice as many homes as single men do. Single female baby boomers actually account for 20% of all houses bought by baby boomers in the nation.
The boomers are the wealthiest segment of the market, and they are set to get even wealthier. It is estimated that boomers will inherit $13 trillion of wealth in the next 20 years. They overwhelmingly prefer the suburbs. Boomers want big spacious homes and large yards. Demographic trends indicate that single female baby boomers will become an even larger part of the housing market as the generation receives its inheritance.
As the housing market continue to evolve, it will be increasingly important to focus on single female homebuyers of all generations. They are becoming increasingly financially powerful, more numerous, and looking to build their wealth. The trends that female boomers are leading today will become more pronounced as more millennial women enter the housing market.
Expect female homebuyers to increasingly be the focus of real estate professionals, homebuilders, and interior designers. In a volatile marketplace, future growth will likely depend on the preferences of single women homebuyers.
Please see our Market Reports for a complete city by city analysis on the Marin County real estate market.
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