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18 July 2011

Demographic Shifts Change Housing Market

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Knowing what the demographics are in your local market will help you determine opportunities and marketing strategies to connect with local buyers and sellers.  One thing to bear in mind is how demographic shifts in the U.S. population not only impact household makeup, but also housing preferences.

Not so long ago, as real estate professionals we would have described our typical clients as married with a couple of kids and a dog. However, the makeup of today’s buyers and sellers looks much different:

  • Married couples comprise less than half of all US households. This percentage has declined every year for the last 50 years and is expected to continue its downhill descent. Additionally, of today’s married couple households, only 20% have children under the age of 18. This is a decline from 44% in 1960.
  • The number of non-family households has increased nearly 5 times in the last 50 years. A non-family household is a household in which the primary resident lives alone or where there are no related family members living in the household.
  • The purchasing power of women continues to increase in the real estate market. Today single women buyers almost double single male buyers. It also could be argued that women control the majority of real estate purchase decisions whether buying on their own or as part of a married couple.

These demographic shifts have resulted in some significant changes in the types of properties consumers are looking to call home.

  • Square Footage:  The days of “bigger is better” are gone. The “McMansion” has lost its appeal. A smaller household means an increased desire for less square footage and fewer bedrooms.
  • Location:  People living in non-family households may not want space, but they do want convenience. They want locations closer to work, entertainment and other lifestyle attributes.

It’s important that we understand who our potential clients are and what they are looking for in a home.   So if you are looking to increase your business… increase your knowledge of the demographic shifts happening all across America. Grab a coffee and log onto www.censusbureau.com, you’ll be glad you did.

One thought on “Demographic Shifts Change Housing Market

  1. Thanks for this insightful post, Wendy! Add to this, as home prices get lower, the purchasing power of our financially able younger generation-buyers also increases. Undoubtedly, it is pivotal that we should be informed of our target populace, as well as how economic and real estate conditions affect diversity in our clients or the demographics.

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