Not waiting for marriage or a partner, more single people are becoming owners of single-family homes, with single women leading the way.
More Americans than ever are choosing to live single in their own home. Last year, single real estate buyers made up a full quarter of all home purchased and it is single women who represented the fastest growing number of single-family home buyers according to a new report released by the National Association of Realtors.
“We seem to find that single women are more proactive in planning for their financial future and often approach a home purchase in a smart and organized manner,” says real estate agent Jenna Thuening. “Women real estate buyers often already know what they want and how to go about trying to accomplish it.”
Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist and author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, says that young adults ages 18 to 34 are the fastest-growing group of people living alone. One-person households are also mostly women: 18 million women live alone versus 14 million men. The majority of solo single-family households are in cities and metro areas.
The biggest hurdle for most home buyers is qualifying for a mortgage. The reality for some married couples is that they are dragged down by their partner’s credit score, loans or credit card debt. One applicant can get stuck with a higher interest rate due to the other’s low credit score. Being free of a spouse’s bad credit score may be one reason why single women may be able to miss entanglements that slow a home purchase timeline.
A recent July study conducted by Redfin on what single women want when house hunting, reveals that single women have long been interested in buying real estate Among unmarried home owners, single women have outnumbered men since at least 1982, when the Census began collecting such data. While middle-aged women home buyers are increasing their purchasing power, women younger than 35 appear to be choosing to delay home ownership until later on in life.
The Redfin report also revealed the top U.S. cities for successful single women who have sufficient earnings to buy a home. The report factors in the percentage of women with four-year college degrees, percentage of women with a salary greater than $65,000, and the percentage of women who are single between 25 to 39 years old. Below are the rankings, as well as the percentage of residents who are women who are single and 25 to 39 years old:
1. Arlington, Va.: 24 percent
2. Alexandria, Va.: 22 percent
3. Cambridge, Mass.: 22 percent
4. Washington, D.C.: 22 percent
5. San Francisco: 21 percent
6. Seattle: 18 percent
“It may be that the average single women finds it more interesting than single men to fully understand the process of buying a home,” added Thuening. “More often they reach out for our guidance and thereby gain a good advocate to help them purchase a home.”