DataNews Brief

What are all the single ladies up to? Buying real estate, of course

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Where are all the single ladies? According to Owners.com, they’re in Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Dallas-Fort Worth putting their hands up to grab the keys to their new homes.

Owners.com says these cities are the best for single women homebuyers — and already have a high percentage of single women homeowners — thanks to affordable home prices, a healthy median income, and other market factors, such as walkability and low crime rates.

“There is a noticeable shift toward more single women entering the real estate market, particularly given lower unemployment rates, rising incomes, and the value placed on homeownership,” says Owners.com Senior Manager of Brokerage Services Phil Karp. “Housing inventory remains low and costs are high throughout the country.”

Cincinnati nabbed the No. 1 spot thanks to a robust share of single women homebuyers (15.2 percent), a below average median home value ($158,100), and a relatively good median female income ($40,392).

Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth rounded out the top three because of affordable home prices ($162,000 and $169,000, respectively) and median female incomes that range from $40,000-$40,400.

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It’s a nationwide trend

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, in 2016, single women were responsible for 17 percent of total home purchases, an uptick from 15 percent last year.

Meanwhile, single men made up just 7 percent of home purchases despite edging out single women’s average income, $69,600 to $55,300, respectively.

As reported by Inman, given single women’s interest in homeownership, their representation in the housing market is likely to continue building, with job growth holding steady and credit conditions becoming less stringent than in past few years, according to NAR.

It has happened before. In 2006, single women represented 22 percent of total homebuyers.

The average age of the single woman buying her very first home in 2016 was 34 (compared to 31 in the case of single men). Meanwhile, the average age of the repeat single female buyer is 57.

Overcoming hurdles

Although single women are out-buying their single male counterparts, they’re still up against bids from dual-income households and working around the pay gap that can make it harder to afford a home.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate President and CEO Sherry Chris previously told Inman that single women must change their mindset when buying a home.

“My exact advice to female buyers is to put your armor on and look at the home purchase as a business deal,” Chris said.

For Chris, that means not selecting an agent because they simply “feel like a friend” and instead choosing someone who is highly knowledgeable, has sharp negotiation skills and can truly work on their behalf.

About the study

Owners.com identified all MSAs with over one million people. Once these MSAs were identified, any MSA with below-average income for females (<$39,586) were cut. Based on the remaining MSAs, markets with the lowest percentage of female homeowners were eliminated. The final data cut the bottom five markets with the lowest home values, and the top 20 markets were ranked by average home price.

Owners.com used six metrics to identify and rank the top 20 markets for single women to live in the U.S., which were then ordered by affordability. The MSAs were measured based on six key metrics, which were weighted and summed, and a score scaling was applied to the data. The weights for each metric are as follows:

Email Marian McPherson.