When you look over all the buying groups in real estate to determine which has the most buying power, the one that usually comes up last is single women. For years, single women couldn’t afford as large of a percentage of the available homes on the market and were not buying at the same rate as larger groups like married couples or even single men. But according to a 2018 Zillow study, single women have made a drastic uptick in the housing market and don’t look to be backing down.
Almost 20% of home buyers last year were single women. That is a steady rise over the last three years and an 11% increase since 1981. Even more impressive, is compared to their single men counterparts, single women are out buying them on homes at a rate of almost 3 to 1.
There are many reasons why real estate experts speculate the increase to the buying power of the single woman segment. Factors like higher paying jobs in the technology and finance sectors definitely come into play, as well as higher personal satisfaction among women in recent years. This has given women the financial freedom to purchase their dream homes, with or without a family. One of the top mortgage companies in the northeast reported to the NAR that about 20% of their new buyers are single women who are making six-figure incomes.
This trend doesn’t just apply to successful working women. Across the country, banks and lenders are seeing a marked increase in women over 60 looking to downside into smaller homes after a divorce, death of a spouse, children leaving the home, or their personal retirement. Homes with single mothers are the second most common arrangement in the United States and so children are often another predicating reason that women are taking the leap into home ownership.
As a booming demographic, it’s important for the needs of the single women as a home buying segment not be lumped into the same category as other groups. Their unique wants and needs for a home are specific to their circumstances and will become a larger focus for the real estate industry as a whole as their buying power continues to grow.