One of the least reported facts about the recent growth of the housing market is that single women have had a huge impact in the number of homes being sold. According to recent studies, single women are the second largest group of homebuyers over the past 12 months. Single women were 17% of all homebuyers and 18% of all first-time homebuyers. They are also purchasing homes at twice the rate of single men.
Who Are These Homebuyers?
The median income of these single women homebuyers is $49,000 and the median age is 32. However, these median numbers don’t tell the whole story. Single women from a variety of different demographics are buying more homes than ever before. This includes baby boomers, millennials, divorced women, and first time homebuyers. Baby boomers continue to be the biggest players in the housing market across all sectors, including single women, in terms of dollars. This is due in large part to this generation having much more wealth than younger generations.
These numbers are not just a short-term bubble. The long-term trends show that single women are likely to continue to be a major factor in the housing market. Consider that women continue to make approximately 20% less than their male cohorts. The gender pay-gap is shrinking, which will likely mean women, including single women, will have more money to invest in real estate. Other trends that will bolster the single women sector of the housing market include an increase in the number of women with college degrees and the projected growth in the number of single women in the population.
Not All Good News
Even though more single women are buying homes, it is not all good news for this group. In all but three states, there is a “penalty” for home values of houses owned by single women. Nationally, single men’s homes tend to be valued 10% higher than homes owned by single women. The difference in home values is greatest in the District of Columbia and Florida.
There are three states where this trend is reversed. In Kentucky and Kansas homes owned by single women have higher property values by a factor of 1% to 2%. In Massachusetts, the home value gap is in favor of single women by a factor of 11%.
While Massachusetts may be an outlier for now, it seems likely that as the pay gap shrinks and single women continue to make up a larger part of the homebuyers market, this disparity in home values will shrink, or even full reverse, over the coming years.
Looking at all the data it seems likely that single women are going to continue to be an important part of the housing market for generations to come.
Please see our Market Reports for a complete city by city analysis on the Marin County real estate market.
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