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Single Female Homebuyers’ Fluctuating Share of the Housing Market

by Crystal Sturgeon

single-women-homeownership

According to NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women made up 15 percent of the overall homebuying market, as opposed to single men, who only made up 9 percent of the market. In 2013, single women comprised more than one-fifth of the market, while single males accounted for a little over one-tenth of recent homebuyers – a fact that spurred many media outlets to announce the arrival of an “emerging demographic” in the housing market. But as NAR’s most recent numbers show, single female homebuyers’ share in the housing market has fluctuated quite a bit over the past several years.

While in previous years, single female homebuyers were more likely than their male counterparts to view a home as a good financial investment, NAR’s report found that the groups were in agreement this year, with 79 percent of each stating that they thought purchasing a home was a worthwhile investment.

According to the NAR report, what single females really valued when looking for a home was the quality of the neighborhood (56 percent said that the quality of the neighborhood influenced their choice of the general area). Other top factors for single females were that the home was near friends and family (43 percent) and the overall affordability of homes (42 percent).

In a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker, 64 percent of women said that if their dream home came with security concerns, the lack of security would be a deal breaker. The same survey confirmed that staying close to family was important to women, as 55 percent of female respondents said that it was more important to live near their extended family than to live near their job.

Single female homebuyers also tend to be more relationship-oriented in their approach than single male homebuyers, and as such tend to prefer working with agents who they can build a friendship with, according to Jeanie Douhitt, founder of Smart Women Buy Homes, a firm based in Plano, TX. NAR’s findings support this statement, with 83 percent of single female respondents reporting that an agent’s communication skills were “very important” to them. Among single male homebuyers, 71 percent placed the same importance on communication skills. That 12 percent discrepancy was the largest gap between the two groups’ responses. The majority of both groups rated honesty and integrity as being “very important” – 99 percent of single women and 94 percent of single men.

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