WalletHub identified DC as the “state” with the highest median earnings–adjusted for cost of living–for female workers. In the median earnings category, DC was followed by Virginia and Maryland, rounding out the DC metro area as a great place for women to get paid well. This positive news is mirrored in the fact that single women are currently proving to be one of the most important demographics in the home buying market.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported this year that — of the recent buyers who are single — single women accounted for 60 percent more home purchases than single men, across all age groups. They are actually the biggest home buying demographic after married couples.
This trend of single female home ownership is projected to increase in future. Women expect increased financial independence as the gender pay gap decreases.
Generational Gap: Baby Boomers (Still) Own the Housing Market
Even though millennials show great promise in the real estate market, baby boomers are still the largest group of homebuyers. NAR found that single female baby boomers buy twice as many homes as single men do and account for one out of every five houses sold in their own age cohort.
Additionally, baby boomers are wealthier than any other generation. They are set to inherit $13 trillion of wealth over the next 20 years, and 70 percent of them believe that their current home will not be the best one that they live in.
Millennial Focus: Young Adults Will Enter the Market
Millennials tend to live in smaller spaces located within major cities, close to their workplaces and social centers. Also, millennial women tend to get married later (if they plan to marry at all) and are well-educated. Their demand for housing will likely increase along with their salaries.
Millennials also have different housing wants than their parents — McMansion-style designs do not sell well within this age group. They tend to favor unique, stylish, but practical designs. This mobile generation doesn’t need large spaces to display or store stuff!
Location will be particularly important for this group. On the upper end of this market, a preference for condos in dense communities with vibrant street life is expected.
Single women are getting a lot of attention in the real estate industry — and for good reason. This group is clearly on the upswing both financially and demographically. They are increasing in power, wealth and market share, and are a force to be reckoned with.