Single women accounted for 18 percent of all home purchases last year compared with just 7 percent by single men, according to survey data from the National Association of Realtors.
This makes single women the second-largest segment in the home-purchase marketplace, behind married couples.
Rising rents are a hot button. In a recent tracking study conducted by research and publishing firm Builders Digital Experience, 23 percent of single women cited rising rents as a “trigger” motivation behind a home purchase, well above the 16 percent average for all recent buyers.
Pat McKee, president of McKee Homes, a builder active in four North Carolina markets, has found that in some of the company’s developments, significant percentages of the homes — upward of 50 percent in one case — were purchased by single women in their 30s, 40s and older. Many of these buyers, he said, “are tired of living in apartments and now feel confident enough to buy a new home.”
On average, single women pay slightly more for their homes than single men — $185,000 compared with $175,000 — and are more likely to have children younger than 18 in their households.
Single female purchasers tend to be more likely to see buying a home as an investment, according to Jessica Lautz, director of demographic and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors.
Shoshana Godwin, who is single and works as a real estate agent for brokerage company Redfin in Seattle, bought a condo close to downtown — a two-bedroom, one-bath unit that cost her $285,000 two years ago. Comparable units in her building are now selling for $500,000 in Seattle’s crazy-hot market, confirming her impression that buying instead of renting would be a good investment.
There appears to be less survey research available on the home-buying habits of single men.
Based on discussions he’s had, McKee says that “planting roots just doesn’t seem to have the same priority” for single men as for single women.