Single women outnumber men as first-time homebuyers by a significant margin, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Realtors.

Single women outnumber men as first-time homebuyers by a significant margin, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday.

The number of single women who purchased a new home this year hovered at 18 percent, unchanged from 2017 but up one percent from 2016, according to the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey. The number of men, meanwhile, stood at 9 percent, up from 7 percent in 2017. At 63 percent, married couples remained most active among homebuyers.

“Single females have always been second only to married couples in the housing market and outpaced single men,”Jessica Lautz, NAR’s director of demographics and behavioral insights, said in an email. “Single females are more likely to have both children under the age of 18 in their home and being caring for others as multi-generational home buyers. They may want the financial stability of homeownership in the community where their family can be in the best neighborhood for their needs.”

Nonetheless, the number of first-time buyers continues to dwindle, with those investing in their first home teetering to 33 percent of all buyers in 2018, down from 34 percent in 2017 and 35 percent in 2016, according to the survey results. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributed the thinning numbers to low inventory among modestly and lower-priced homes.

“With the lower end of the housing market – smaller, moderately priced homes – seeing the worst of the inventory shortage, first-time home buyers who want to enter the market are having difficulty finding a home they can afford,” Yun said. “Homes were selling in a median of three weeks and multiple offers were a common occurrence, further pushing up home prices.”

While single men purchased half as many homes in 2018 as women, they tended to invest in more expensive abodes, paying a median cost of $215,000 compared to $189,000 for women, according to the survey.

The median age of first-time homebuyers remained flat at 32 years old while the median age of repeat buyers has risen to 55 years old in 2018, from 54 in 2017.

Among younger buyers, 13 percent said saving for a down payment was a significant challenge. Among those, 50 percent said the reason for that was student debt.

“Even with a thriving economy and an abundance of job opportunities in many markets, monthly student loan payments coupled with sky-high rents and rising home prices make it exceedingly difficult for potential buyers to put aside savings for a down payment,” Yun said.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
He left Real Geeks and then came back. Why?Watch Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription