August 5th, 2009 2:32 PM by Joan Rusco
The word “homemaker” may be taking on new meaning. Traditionally, it stood for a woman who spent time in the home raising children, cooking and cleaning. Today it may be coming to mean the person who makes the home possible. Women are becoming a powerful force in housing. Strike that, women are becoming the most powerful force in our economy, period.
Women buy 90% of the food, 55% of consumer electronics and most of the new cars according to consultancy firm Bain & Company. Companies now trying to recover from the recession are focusing their marketing to women. SheSpeaks is a marketing consultant firm and has tripled the number of its clients. SheSpeaks clients reach for women to help them in recession recovery. The firm’s client list includes Citibank and Phillips. In another sign of women's economic power a recent New York Times article suggests women are becoming the majority workforce.
What about housing? According to research from the National Association of Realtors single women buy one-fifth of all homes sold. That’s more than double the number purchased by single men. In an article in USA Today author Noelle Knox says “this is striking, because in 1981, the number of single women and single men home buyers was virtually the same. Since then, the percentage of buyers who are single women has almost doubled, while the percentage of single men buyers slipped by 1 percentage point to 9%”. A Realtor I have worked with says that figure doesn’t expose the whole truth. According to his experience when couples search for homes it is the woman who makes the final decision. His observation is backed by market researcher Marti Barletta. Ms Barletta, in her book Marketing To Women says women make the purchasing decision on 91 per cent of the houses.
The research is further backed by my own experience and the resulting traffic on www.VALoansMN.com where we experience increasing numbers of women Veterans seeking VA Loans to buy homes in Minnesota. I have been asked to present benefits of VA Loans in Minnesota to a group of women Veterans in October in Bloomington, MN. More information on that conference for women Veterans is available soon at www.mdva.state.mn.us.I would be most interested to hear the experiences of other FHA and VA Lenders nationwide. Are you also seeing the surge in women home buyers?