Despite an existing gender pay gap, single women are purchasing nearly double the number of homes than men. According to the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report (2018), 65% of homebuyers were married, 18% were single females, 7% were single males, and 8% were unmarried couples. Nearly double the single women bought homes than single men. But why? Or more importantly, how?
Who are the Women Buying Homes?
Of the single women buying homes recently, the highest percentage of buyers were in the 72+ age group. In the 72+ group, the most common reason for purchasing was a downsizing: a desire for a smaller (and presumably more manageable) home. Buyers over 72 years old also had income from a previous sale to lean on. That’s a factor missing for the majority of Millennial buyers.
Buyers 53+ expected to remain in their new home for the next 20 years. Millennial buyers were planning to stay only an average of 10 years. For Millennials, home buying is a stop on the way before expanding or accommodating a growing family.
Older buyers also choose to buy newer homes that will require fewer fixes. Millennials are more willing to take on a fixer-upper or sacrifice new finishes for a lower price point.
2019 is a long way from the 1950s, and thankfully so. Even though women still suffer from wage gaps and are earning less than men, women are generating more income than ever before.. Women are breaking into professions in industries that were previously unavailable. In doing so, women are enjoying building careers. Many are prioritizing financial independence over marriage or building a family.
Timing is Everything
55% of Millennial buyers took the leap to purchase because they felt the time was right. Only 22% felt pressured into the purchase. Impressively, only 1% regret the decision.
So what does this tell us? Ladies make informed, planned, and careful choices when purchasing a home. And their preparation is mainly what accounts for their strong numbers among recent homeowners.
The majority of single Millennial female buyers who recently purchased a home for the first time? Did so because they just wanted to own a home. And in buying a home, young women set themselves up for financial independence and security.
According to the NAR report, most homebuyers spent eight to ten weeks to find a home.
Having help in understanding the purchasing process was crucial to buyers under 37 years old, the majority of whom were making their first home purchase. 98% of buyers under the age of 37 financed their home purchase. And in that same age group, saving for a down payment was noted as the most challenging aspect of the process.
Be Open to Options
Millennial buyers were the most likely to consider purchasing a home that was in foreclosure. Buying a home in foreclosure typical means purchasing below market value, which can be an excellent opportunity. However, you should be aware that buying a home in foreclosure can also mean tax filings on the house, which can include:
- Default notices
- Scheduled auctions
- Bank repossessions
Purchasing a home in foreclosure may be a great option for Millennials who have less cash and a historically lower income than other generations. But be sure to do your research and take the advice of a professional.
Find the Right Agent
Finding the perfect home is no easy task to take on. And 90% of Millennial buyers rightly used a real estate agent to find the perfect home. That relationship with a real estate agent can be crucial in ensuring your process goes smoothly. 89% of buyers across all age groups, would recommend their agent to friends and family, or use the agent again themselves. This is a crucial relationship, so invest in it.
The Future is Female
Single women who achieve the goal of buying a home feel empowered by their hard work and ability to build equity without relying on a partner or a marriage. However, do not mistake their independent purchase as these ladies thinking in a narrow-minded manner. According to the NAR, 86% of Millennials who recently purchased a home bought a single detached family home in suburbs or a small town. And over 80% of Millennials bought homes that contained three or more bedrooms.
In addition to considering their future needs, single women purchasing homes also take into account the advice and help of parents, colleagues, and professionals to ensure their purchase is made smartly and carefully. After all, it takes a village.
To Sum It Up:
- Take your time, don’t be rushed into purchasing. This isn’t a decision you want to regret!
- A single Millennial buyer will need time to save and properly plan to purchase a home
- Understand mortgage rates, and if you can, get pre-approved first.
- A strong and positive relationship with a realtor can make all the difference
- Transparency in the buying process is critical. Knowing the procedures and what to expect is the best way to avoid unpleasant surprises
Single Millennial buyers can have a tricky time navigating and securing a favorable mortgage rate. Morty is reinventing how people get a mortgage, and we’re on a mission to empower homebuyers and bring transparency and competition to an industry that’s been lacking both for too long.