The decision to have children is a very personal one – and, in many cases, it’s also a financial one. Take DINKs vs. DIWKs. The acronyms are trending on TikTok, with some Gen Zers already planning on becoming DINKs. It makes sense: The cost of raising a child has increased by 30% since 1960. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the acronyms, DINK means “Dual Income, No Kids,” indicating a household with two earners and no children. DIWK means “Dual Income, With Kids,” referring to a household with two earners and dependent children.

Two different types of households, two different financial realities. Both demographic groups also have different approaches when it comes to home ownership. According to a RocketMortgage survey, 72% of DIWKs own homes compared to 59% of DINKs even though DINKs earn about 7% more and save about 9% more than DIWKs on average.

DINKs might be less likely to buy homes due to their flexibility and focus on other financial goals. They may prioritize experiences, investments, and career opportunities over homeownership. On the other hand, DIWKs often seek stability and space for their family, motivating home purchases.

Why more people are considering the DINK lifestyle

A MarketWatch survey revealed that financial freedom is the primary deterrent to parenthood for DINKs, closely followed by the appeal of day-to-day flexibility. A significant 32% of DINKs attribute their childlessness to the prohibitively high cost of living. Some people also see child-free living as an opportunity to live their best life – 48% of DINK couples take advantage of their extra disposable income to travel. 

How DINKs are changing the housing market for DIWKs

So, if more people want to be DINKs and if DINKs tend to prefer renting, how will that affect things for DIWKs looking to buy or sell a home? When many opt to rent instead of buy, the housing market may see reduced home purchase demand, potentially slowing price growth. Rental demand might rise, raising rental prices and attracting investor activity. For prospective home buyers, this could lead to more affordable options and reduced competition in the purchase market. However, limited supply might still affect certain segments.

Overall, a shift towards renting might offer opportunities for buyers to enter the market with less pressure but could also highlight supply challenges for specific housing types or locations. In other words, a surge in the tendency to live a DINK lifestyle and potentially prioritize renting over buying could translate into positive outcomes for those looking to buy a house – but it’s not guaranteed. It also means that renting could become pricier and more competitive for DINKs, pushing them to consider home ownership without kids.

Bottom Line

The DINK lifestyle is increasing in popularity due to the rising cost of living, and the trend may end up shifting the housing market in the years to come.

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