2022 has been the year of the wedding. Estimates put the total number of this year’s wedding celebrations at more than 2.5 million, which dwarfs the COVID-scarred years of 2020 and 2021, and represents a roughly 30% increase from before the pandemic.
A glut of couples streaming to the altar is no surprise after the disruptions of the past few years. But what may be a surprise is that the wedding boom can affect more than your social calendar. A surge in weddings can have real, noticeable effects on the real estate market and on your business.
1. Marriage Boom May Boost Buyer Demand
Determining the state of homebuyer demand often comes down to asking consumers two questions:
- Do you want to buy a home?
- Can you afford to buy a home?
When a couple gets married, the odds of answering yes to these questions increases for both parties.
In terms of desire, newlyweds buying a home is as American a tradition as road trips, Black Friday, and refusing to adopt the metric system. Everyone is different, but in general, getting married increases people’s desire to buy a home.
Affordability is where things get trickier. After all, mortgage rates have skyrocketed this year, and much has been made of the dearth of “starter homes” available to young couples who once flocked to them.
Still, getting married does generally increase consumers’ ability to buy a home. Two incomes are better than one, and help prospective buyers qualify for higher home loans. Plus, couples are more commonly asking their wedding guests for cash rather than registry gifts in order to fund a down payment. Some couples report raising tens of thousands of dollars.
If you notice more buyers seeking out your services this year and into 2023, you may find yourself working with newly married couples.
2. Marriage Boom Could Push Sellers to the Market
In addition to boosting buyer demand, the marriage boom may also push more sellers into the market.
Keep in mind that some newlywed couples already own a home. In fact, the number of unmarried adults living with a partner has doubled in the past twenty years. And in different life stages and circumstances, marriage can spur desire for a new home.
Consider three hypothetical seller stories:
- A young, newly-married couple with no children already owns a small home. They want more space to start a family and plan to put their current home on the market.
- A middle-aged, newly-married couple each have children from a previous marriage. They’re merging their families and want to start fresh in a new home. They also need to sell each of their existing homes.
- Two senior citizens get married after the deaths of their first spouses. Their children are grown and homes are too big. They want to put both homes on the market, and downsize to a townhouse or condo.
Agents often hear that if a client needs to sell, they also need to buy. That idiom also works in reverse. For many newlyweds, wanting to buy means needing to sell, and the rising number of homes on the market indicates that the marriage boom, among other factors, may be pushing some sellers to list their homes.
3. Marriage Boom Makes Real Estate Agents In-Demand
The final way the marriage boom could affect your business as a real estate agent is simple: It may make your services and know-how more in-demand.
Getting married and adjusting to life as newlyweds is stressful enough. Especially in a time of rising mortgage rates, freshly-married buyers and sellers may be more inclined to turn to an expert for help.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), mortgage discount points, the threat of a recession – you’re the professional who is qualified to help prospective buyers and sellers get a sense of the market and their options. When it’s time to buy or sell, you help make the transaction happen. And when marriages surge, as they are right now, more newlyweds need your counsel and help accomplishing their real estate goals.