Nineteen percent of homebuyers are single women.
While they fall behind their married counterparts, who represent 60% of homebuyers, they exceed their male peers, who only represent 9% of buyers, according to a recent NAR report. This has been a consistent trend in the last 40 years, but the share of female single homebuyers has increased, reaching a peak of 22% in 2006. Single male homebuyers have not surpassed 12%, which last happened in 2010.
In 1981, married couples represented 73% of homebuyers, but today, as marriage rates have dropped, single females have stepped up to buy their own property. In the last 30 years, marriage rates have fallen from 59% to 52%. While both single men and single women reported the desire to own a home of their own as their top reason to buy, women were far more motivated to buy to be closer to family (15% compared to 7%). Single women are also more likely to have a child or children under 18 residing with them (17% compared to 11%) and more likely to buy a multigenerational home (13% compared to 8%).
Single females are also more likely to buy a less expensive home than single males. On average, women spend $230,000 on their home, while men spend $249,000. Women are also more likely to make less money, with an average salary of $65,000, compared to $78,000 for men.
Naturally, with a lower salary, single female homebuyers are more likely than single male homebuyers to report making sacrifices to be able to buy. Women were more likely to cut spending on non-essential items (27% compared to 18%), cut spending on entertainment (22% compared to 15%), cut spending on clothes (21% compared to 10%) and cancel vacation plans (9% compared to 4%).