Blog posted On January 22, 2019
According to a new LendingTree study, single women are outpacing single men in becoming homeowners. Single women own 22% of homes nationwide, compared to just 13% owned by single men. Out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas across the country, single women own an average of 70,000 more homes than single men do. With most women earning an average of only 80% of their male counterparts, the new homeownership data may be surprising to some. Despite the fact that many young homeowners are delaying milestones like marriage and children, they are still taking advantage of the wealth-building opportunity of home purchase.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) noted the average median price of a home purchased by a single female first-time home buyer was $154,000 compared to the $145,000 paid by single male first-time home buyers. Among the cities profiled in the study, New Orleans, LA had the highest ratio of single women to single men homeowners with a 27% to 15% difference. Higher-priced coastal metros like New York City and Los Angeles also had a significant difference. LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze noted, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, that women own around 460,000 homes while single men own about 260,000 homes.
First-time home buyers, particularly Millennials, have a reputation for delaying what previous generations considered important milestones that tend to take place before homeownership. Today, the median age for a first marriage is closer to 30, up almost a decade from the early 20s in 1960. Millennials are also three times as likely to have never been married. In addition to single men and single women buying homes, the share of unmarried couples is also in the rise. In fact, only 57% of first-time home buyers in 2017 were married compared to 75% in 1985.
Some real estate professionals suggest that single home buyers research their home’s rental value ahead of purchase. If they choose to move to a larger home or move in with their partner when they get married, they can convert their first home into a rental property.