According to a new report just released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) titled, “2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers”, single women are buying their first home at more than 1.5 times the rate that single men do.
The largest demographic of first time buyers is married couples at more than 50%. However, in second place is the group of single women, who comprise 23 percent of the market. Single men make up just 15% of first time home buyers.
Christian Science Monitor reports:
The trend – which the association says originated in the late 1990s – was urged along by legislation like the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, which made the lending and buying process legally equitable across gender and race.
Prior to the legislation’s passage, few women could be approved for a mortgage or bank loan without being co-signed by a husband or other male family member.
“Once upon a time, you’d market a home only to a family,” Steve Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders told Dame Magazine. “Only the husband’s income even counted.”
Now, about one in five homeowners are single females, which makes them the second-largest home buying demographic after married couples.
While there is little consensus about why single men haven’t caught up in home-buying rates, there are a variety of statistical factors behind the number of single women entering the real estate market.
Demographic changes are driving a large part of the trend, with an increasing number of women acting as the primary breadwinners for unmarried households, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study. In most metro areas, single women with no children in their 20s outearned their male peers.
Additionally, women home buyers may simply be a more secure investment for lenders.
Experian, a business services company, found that men have a 7 percent higher incidence of late mortgage payments and 4.3 percent more debt than women.
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