In the past several years, the real estate market has seen an increase in the number of women purchasing homes. Some of these women are first-time homebuyers entering the market on their own, while others are moving up or downsizing from a property they already own. The State of the Nations Housing: 2004 report, compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, found that “social and economic trends have given women a more powerful presence in housing markets. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of households headed by unmarried women increased by almost 10 million.”
This increase in women homeowners has not gone unnoticed. The 2004 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reveals that:
• Single women purchased approximately one in five homes in 2003, while more than one in ten were purchased by single men.
• 15.5 million women lived alone, compared with 11.8 million men who lived alone. Among this group, women were more likely than men to own their homes (56 percent vs. 47 percent).
From 1994 to 2002, the number of unmarried females owning homes climbed from 13.9 million to 17.5 million, according to statistics from the National Association of Realtors. While married couples remain the largest segment of homebuyers, single women made up the second largest percentage of home purchasers in 2006, at 22 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Single females account for 27 percent of first-time homebuyers and 18 percent of repeat buyers. In contrast, the same findings report that in 2006, single males accounted for only 9 percent of homebuyers. Overall, the percentage of single women homebuyers had increased from 1995 (when it was 14 percent) to 2006, while the percentage of married couples who own homes has declined (70 percent in 1995 vs. 61 percent in 2006).