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March 19th, 2011

All the single ladies: Buying far more homes than single men



Single Female HomebuyerAt one point in time, women weren’t treated as fairly as men when it came to obtaining mortgage financing. While it may seem like the other strides women have made in this country — say, gaining the right to vote — should be considered a greater triumph, it’s important to remember that this lack of available mortgage credit didn’t occur all that long ago.

Up until the early 1980s, single women were at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace due to lack of credit, explains Walter Molony, a spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “But once that improved you saw single women get up to their natural marketplace share, which is roughly one out of five buyers.”

These days, single-female homebuyers purchase at a rate nearly double that of single males. According to the NAR’s 2010 data, about 20 percent of homebuyers were single women as compared to just 12 percent for single men, reports HSH.com contributing writer Steve Bergsman.

Bergsman’s latest article for HSH.com delves into the reasons why so many more single woman are purchasing homes (compared to other demographics), as well as the types of homes they’re buying.

Here’s an excerpt from Bergsman’s article, “Homebuying: Single women winning this battle of the sexes“:

According to a 2006 study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, though married couples accounted for the majority of homebuyers, their share in the marketplace had been shrinking for the past 50 years. The Harvard study cited numerous reasons for this diminishing trend, including:

  • More unmarried women in the population than in the past;
  • The average age of a woman’s first marriage increased as more women sought education and career before committing to a relationship; and
  • Fewer young-adult women chose to live with parents and instead moved out on their own.

According to the NAR, the most stated reason a single woman buys a home is simply a “desire to own.” As was the case with Hagan’s client, living closer to friends and family was one of the main reasons she chose to buy. Yet equally important to a single-female homebuyer’s decision to buy is the home’s affordability, a recent change in family life and, homebuying incentives like the homebuyer tax credit.

Be sure to read “Homebuying: Single women winning this battle of the sexes” in its entirety.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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