The relationship status of homebuyers is shifting. In 1985, 81 percent of homebuyers were married couples. Today, that figure is closer to 66 percent, even though the number of unmarried couples buying homes has only barely grown. What accounts for the change? All the single ladies.
Some 17 percent of homebuyers are now single women, up from just 11 percent in 1981, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The proportion of home-buying single men, on the other hand, shrank over the same period from 10 percent to 7 percent today.
Some of this shift may be because more women are raising children on their own. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data, the number of households with a single mom has grown since 1960 from 1.9 million to 8.6 million in 2011; The number of single-father households also rose from 300,000 to 2.6 million during that time period—a greater increase proportionally, but still at much lower levels.
“A lot of people are facing rising rents and the possibility of higher interest rates and this could cause some insecurity with children at home,” Jessica Lauz, manager of member and consumer research at the NAR, tells Construction Dive. “Single women might be looking to lock in more favorable interest rates at the moment.”
On average, single women homebuyers fetch an annual income of $55,300, as compared to $69,600 for single men buying homes. The ladies also tend to be older, with a median age of 50 to the unmarried man’s 47.
Industry experts believe that the proportion of single female homebuyers will continue to increase in 2017 as more first-time buyers enter the market.