Here’s one statistic where the gender gap is upside down – homeownership by singles.
The fact is this: single women buy more homes than single men. The statistic holds true of much of the U.S., according to two recent reports by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and LendingTree.
In numbers typical for the 50 largest metro areas, New York metro single women own more than 13 percent of owner-occupied homes compared to single men’s nearly 8 percent. In the 50 largest metropolitan areas surveyed by LendingTree, single women own a total of about 1.5 million more homes than single men
Here’s another surprise: among single-female buyers, older women lead the pack. This statistic contradicts the expectation that young women delaying marriage and heading into homeownership on their own would dominate the group, says a new report from the National Association of Realtors®.
In keeping with expectations, married couples of all ages make up the majority of buyers. But a significant number of older home buyers are single women: 22 percent among 65- to 73-year-olds and 21 percent among those 55- to 64-years-of- age, according to the 2020 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by NAR.
In younger generations of home buyers, 12 to 17 percent are single females.
Emotional life events such as death or divorce factor into home purchases by women over 55. And “graying divorce” is on the rise. Divorce rates doubled for 50+ adults and tripled for 65+ adults, according to Realtor.com.
While many of these now-single women may have been homeowners for many years, they may never have purchased a home on their own. Buying a home on their own for the first time can make them similar in attitudes and needs compared with first-time buyers.
Despite common assumptions, not all Baby Boomer purchasers want to downsize to a smaller home. Some are drawn to condo life, like buyers between 73 and 93 who express a desire for the reduced maintenance of a smaller home. But a desire to be near family and friends is the top motivator among people 63 and older, NAR’s report shows. Many of those buyers prefer a three-bedroom home with room for visiting grandkids and family.
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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.