A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that 17% of homebuyers are single women compared to 66% being married couples and 7% single men. With women still lagging behind men in earning power, it is surprising that they are buying double the amount of homes. This could be attributed to the fact that women are commanding higher salaries and are entering high-paying industries previously a man’s domain, such as engineering and computer sciences, which could give them the financial confidence to buy a home without a partner. Another reason could be that women are better than men at paying their mortgages on time, and are better with finances in general. A new report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows that women are less likely than men to go into foreclosure. Overall, men have slightly higher foreclosure rates than women, at 73 out of every 10,000 male homeowners, versus 72 out of every 10,000 female homeowners.
Still another reason could be that the number of single mothers far outweighs the number of single fathers. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that out of about 12 million single parent families in 2016, more than 80% were headed by single mothers, giving women a reason to buy a house to create a permanent home for their children.
The National Association of Realtors’ Field Guide to Women Homebuyers reports that the average first-time female homebuyer is 32 years old and lives at home with her parents. She makes about $49,000 a year and the majority have finished college. Rather than stay at home with their parents or putting all of their money towards rent, these single women are saving for down payments and buying a home of their own.
Many single women buy condos for the myriad benefits offered – security of living in a full-service building, the ability to make friends living in a condo community, access to community resources that single-family homes don’t offer, and the shorter commute to work than living in the suburbs.