Single-women homebuyers: a growing segment

Results of the 2009 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers show that a significant share of homebuyers are single women. Indeed, the percentage of single-women buyers has increased from 14 percent in 1995 to 21 percent in 2009. These home purchasers account for the second largest share of adult households who purchase homes.

Single females make up one-quarter of the first-time buyer population and 17 percent of the repeat buyer population. Among single-female buyers, 58 percent were first-time homebuyers in 2009, compared to 47 percent of all homebuyers.

The median household income for single-women homebuyers was lower than that of all other homebuyer household types. Single females reported a median household income of $47,900 in 2008 compared to $73,100 among all home-buying households. This difference in household income should not be completely surprising as 68 percent of home-buying households are couples-and so perhaps likely to have two income earners.

The difference in median income for single women households compared to those for single men is less striking-single men typically made $53,700 in 2008. Additionally, single women households are less likely to have children living at home than couples.

While the majority of single female buyers purchase a single-family home, single female households are more likely than other household types to purchase an apartment/condominium or a townhouse/rowhouse. One in four single female buyers purchase a house in an urban area/central city, which is a higher percentage compared to all other household compositions except single males. Still, the majority of single female homebuyers purchase a home in the suburbs, similar to all buyers. Single female buyers are more likely to purchase an existing home than are other buyers.

Source: 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, Jessica Lautz

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