Demographics

Roll the DICE on a Growing Buyer Profile

Mikaela Arroyo photo
John Burns photo

Mikaela Arroyo

John Burns

April 12, 2018

DICE, Dual Income College Educated (you heard the term here first!), households continue to increase in numbers. The number of households with two college educated spouses/partners in the labor force has exploded, increasing 13 times since the 1960s!!!

What caused this explosion? Higher educational attainment, particularly among women.

The percentage of young adults with a college degree has almost tripled (2.8x) in the last 50 years, with the percentage of women who have graduated from college quadrupling! We devote an entire chapter to this big shift in our book. But don’t bash the guys, their education levels have improved too.

Compounding the effect, college educated people tend to marry other college educated people. Of the 1.1 million college-educated people under 50 who married for the first time last year, 71% married another college-educated person1.

What does this mean for housing?


  • More (unequal) affluence. Two incomes, better jobs, and marrying later in life makes first-time DICE buyers substantially more affluent than prior generations of first-time buyers, even considering the higher student debt loads. As college graduates continue to marry other college graduates at higher rates, income inequality will grow, decreasing demand in the middle. We already see a record number of first-time buyers purchase what builders formerly considered to be move-up homes.

  • Locations closer to work. DICE buyers prefer shorter commute times than families with a stay-at-home parent. If they have children, DICE buyers need to work closer to home to be able to pick up and drop off the kids. Fortunately, they can afford to purchase in these generally more expensive locations.

DICE households make up 17% of all married or partnered households. However, they comprise 24% of all married or partnered households born in the 1980s (1980s Sharers aged 29–38). For more information on how to capture DICE home buyer demand, read our book (9,000 hours of research for only $20) or contact us for more information.

1 2016 American Community Survey

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About The Author

Mikaela Arroyo photo
Mikaela Arroyo
Vice President, NHTI | Chief of Staff
Mikaela leads trend research for the New Home Trends Institute, conducting monthly surveys of consumers and industry professionals to better understand housing pain points and desires. As Chief of Staff to the CEO, Mikaela strategizes and supports the daily operations of the company, focusing on business initiatives.
John Burns photo
John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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