Valentine’s Day surrounded us with hints of love and romance, but Realtors aren’t only courting couples when it comes to home buying. New data from the National Association of Realtors suggests that single women will be a growing demographic when it comes to homebuyers in 2016.
Single women buyers have made up a larger share of the housing market than their male counterparts since the early 1990s, buying at nearly twice the rate. These women have a strong desire to feel settled and be part of a community and do not believe that marriage is a prerequisite to homeownership.
According to NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women accounted for 15 percent of all home buyers; many believe that number will increase in the next few years. Based on the study, we know that women buyers had a median age of 50, 72 percent purchased detached single-family homes and 90 percent used a real estate agent or broker to guide them through the purchase process.
Here are some reasons why single women are set to take the 2016 real estate market by storm:
Desire to Own. Thirty-seven percent of unmarried female homebuyers said that the desire to own their own home was their primary reason for purchasing a house.
Rising Incomes. In large cities across the country, women have seen a significant rise in average income the last few years. As a result of higher incomes, many unmarried women can enter the housing market without taking on as much of a financial burden.
Availability of Housing. According to NAR research, single women typically purchase single-family homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Homes of this size are fairly common within many markets, providing a strong inventory of homes to choose from.
Buy vs. Rent Choices. In many cities, including our own, rent prices have continued to increase in the last few years, making buying a home more financially advantageous in both the short and long term.
Before beginning the home search process, there are a several pieces of valuable advice for buyers within this demographic.
- Get your financial house in order first. Take a look at your current financial situation, your credit and your financial goals when considering the purchase of a home. Knowing what you can afford and becoming pre-qualified is an essential first step.
- Consider your options. Single women buyers in particular may have a specific set of concerns and/or desires when looking for a home. Considerations may include, move-in ready vs. renovations or DIY upkeep vs. maintenance-provided homes. Take time to consider the type of home that would work best for your lifestyle.
- Most important, connect with a professional right away. Realtors are uniquely qualified to guide you through the home-buying process and can provide you a wealth of knowledge and insight. Ask friends and family for referrals or connect with a local Realtor at www.KCRealtorLink.com.
Christian Zarif is the 2016 President of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.