Single Women Flirting With Real Estate Again

December 29, 2015

After taking a hit during the housing crisis, some analysts are expecting single women — who once made up a large piece of the housing pie — to make a strong comeback in the market in 2016.

U.S. Census data shows that single women are seeing rising incomes, which is critical because they typically stretch their budgets in order to purchase a home, Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research for the National Association of REALTORS®, told Bloomberg. Many of these buyers are single mothers or widows.

"They are making sacrifices financially because they have a really strong desire to be a part of a community," Lautz says.

The environment has changed for single women since 2009, when lenders tightened their underwriting and made it tougher for many single buyers to qualify for a mortgage. The percentage of single female home buyers dropped from 21 percent of all purchasers in 2009 to 15 percent in 2015.

Single women often look for properties in the same price range as investors looking for rental properties, Lautz says. Investors receded somewhat in 2015, which could open the door to more single women to find affordable properties in the new year, she adds. 

The following 10 cities saw the biggest increase of women earning more than $100,000 between 2012 and 2014: 

  • Boston
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • San Diego
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Baltimore
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Los Angeles

Source: “Return of the Single Female Homebuyer,” Bloomberg (Dec. 28, 2015)