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More Single Women Buying Houses

The number of first-time home buyers may not be at the level experts would like, but one demographic group is doing its part – single women. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women constitute 23 percent of first-time buyers and 16 percent of repeat buyers, making them the second-largest home-buying group after married couples.

NAR says the trend started in the late 1990s, and in recent years, single women have made up between 16 and 22 percent of home buyers. Experts point to statistical reasons more single women are making the jump:

  1. A 2013 Pew Research Center study found an increasing number of women acting as the primary breadwinners for unmarried households. In most metro areas, single women in their 20s with no children made more money than their male peers.

  2. An Experian survey found that men have a 7 percent higher incidence of late mortgage payments and 4.3 percent more debt than women, so lenders may see women as a safer investment.

In addition, Jessica Lautz of NAR says surveys show that women place a higher priority than men on having a place to call their own, and will do more to make it happen. “We asked did they make any sacrifices like cutting spending on entertainment, on luxury items they don’t necessarily need, on clothing, even getting a second job,” she says. “And consistently, single female buyers are making those sacrifices more than other buyers.”

Lautz says two-thirds of female buyers own single-family homes. “And most of them are three-bedroom, two-bath, great homes,” she says. “So it’s impressive.”

Another great article from my monthly e-newsletter.

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