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Who Is She? A Closer Look at Female Homebuyers

Market Data + Trends

Who Is She? A Closer Look at Female Homebuyers

March 9, 2020
Women smiling into camera outdoors
Photo: Monkey Business

Single, female homebuyers remain a powerhouse demographic in the housing market despite a dip in their share of the market in the past few years. For International Women's Day, the National Association of Realtors took a closer look at who these women are, what moves them to buy, and how these trends have changed over time. Every woman buyer is unique, but one of the common trends is the seriousness of their purchase: Though they make up the second largest demographic of homebuyers, they have the lowest average household income and nearly half must make financial sacrifices to be able to afford a home of their own as, according to the National Association of Realtors. They want this, and they’re willing to give up non-essentials to make their homeownership dreams come true. 

Single female homebuyers have historically been second only to married couples since 1981. They are a celebrated force in the home buying market, and are currently 17% of the buying market.

In recent years, the share of single female buyers has retreated, however that trend is most pronounced among single female first-time buyers. In 2006, 27%  of first-time buyers were single females and today 17% are. However, in that same time period, there has been a rise in unmarried couples and roommates purchasing – perhaps pooling multiple incomes to purchase due to affordability constraints. The share of single female repeat buyers, however, has remained somewhat consistent in comparison—starting at 18% and ending at 17% over the same time period.

When exploring the age of a single female buyer, she typically falls into the Baby Boomer or Silent Generation age category. The median age of a single female buyer is 54. More than one in five buyers over the age of 55 is a single female buyer. It is possible she was married in the past and is now divorced or widowed or was never married.

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