It’s the gender gap you don’t hear about: Single women are buying homes and condos at what may be more than twice the rate of single males, and the trend appears to be accelerating. Single women accounted for 18% of home purchases last year compared with 7% by single males, according to survey data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This makes single women the second-largest segment in the entire home-purchase marketplace (behind married couples).
Home builders have picked up on the trend and are designing homes and subdivisions to appeal to women’s preferences—lighter-feeling materials, open floor plans (especially kitchens), and amped-up elements of security.
Single female purchasers tend to be more likely to see buying a home as an investment, according to the NAR study. Single women pay slightly more on their purchase on average than single men—$185,000 compared with $175,000—and are more likely to have children under 18 in their households. Rising rents appear to be a hotter button for single women than for men. 23% percent of single women cited rising rents as a “trigger” motivation behind a home purchase, well above the 16% average for all recent buyers.