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Rate Of Single Women Buying Homes In Real Estate Market On The Rise

The number of single women purchasing homes in the real estate market is on the rise. According to the Tennessean, up to 17% of homebuyers across the U.S. are single women. That’s more than one-third of the total real estate growth rate since 1994.

“The days of women waiting to get married to have someone to [buy a home] with are long gone,” said Christie Wilson, president of The Wilson Group Real Estate Services. Nearly 25% of Wilson’s customer base is made up of single women.

However, the gap between men and women in the real estate market isn’t surprising. Women have shown a higher rate of homeownership than men since 1981, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. After nearly 40 years, the gap has widened by 10%. But why does the gap between genders exist at all?

Since the 2008 mortgage crisis, low-interest rates on home loans made homebuying more appealing to first-time homebuyers, said NAR managing director of survey research and communications, Jessica Lautz. Lautz also noted single women were more likely to be parenting on their own than single men.

“If you have children, it’s definitely going to play a role in where you’re thinking of living and how,” said Lautz. “And a mortgage can provide financial security. I think women, even with lower incomes, want a place where they can have roots and really own a place. The psychological desire to do that is great.”

Up to 32% of potential homebuyers are buying a home for the first time and 83% of Americans believe owning a yard is essential to a home. Considering there were 8.6 million single-mother households in the U.S. in 2011, these statistics and the growing number of single-woman homeownership makes sense. Parents want homes for their kids and space for them, like a backyard, to run and play.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that only 2.6 million households in the U.S. are single-father households. So why the real estate gap? As it turns out, it’s because of sacrifice.

According to Lautz, women are willing to make more financial sacrifices in order to own a home. These sacrifices including taking on a second job or working around a budget in order to save up for a down payment on a home.

“They really value homeownership,” said Lautz. “And they’re willing to give up a lot to have a home of their own.”

Additionally, millennials have changed the American outlook on marriage. Up to 80% of millennials are happy choosing lab-grown diamonds for engagement rings while one in every five Americans over the age of 25 has never been married. While there are more single men (23%) than women (17%), it’s women who are currently dominating the real estate market.

Unfortunately, it isn’t all good news. Approximately 54% of future homeowners were willing to pay more for hardwood floors in 2013, but many American women are unable to afford higher-value homes that may have them. NAR research shows women buy their first homes at a slightly older age than men and when they do it’s at a lower average price. Still, many women are happy with their choice of homeownership.

“I’m in my 40s,” said Rachel Weiss, a New York fashion executive. “I’m not married, I don’t have kids. I can live alone, and fabulously. I feel empowered.”

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