Buying a home is one of the many ways to make a sound financial investment. For years the American dream was to get married, buy a home, and have children, typically in that order. While this may still be true for some, there is a steady increase in the number of first time home buyers who are single. Topping the list are single female home buyers who passed their single male counterpart for well over three decades. Now, single women, first-time home buyers are ahead of the men by at least 10% and that percentage continues to grow each year. Single female first time home buyers currently account for 1 out of every 5 home sales.
In 2016, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that women in the labor force between the ages of 25-64 with college degrees tripled from between 1970 and 2014. As a result, the increase in women attaining college degrees has delayed women getting married. A report from the US Census Bureau showed the average age of women getting married was 27 yrs old compared to 21 1/2 in 1940. The rise in education and, in turn, the increase in the average wage has many first-time, female home buyers looking towards taking control of their financial future. Despite the fact that the home buying process can be intimidating to even the most experienced of home buyers, there is a rise in programs available to assist female home buyers. The bottom line, women are now looking for the house before the spouse.
Who makes up this percentage of single female first time home buyers? Currently, women age 55 and older are the fastest growing demographic within the percentage of first-time, female home buyers according to the Wall Street Journal. Many reasons account for the growing number of older single female first-time homebuyers but topping the list is the divorce or death of a spouse. Single female millennials make up 12% of this total according to the 2018 National Association of Realtors report. However, the median age of single women first-time home buyers is strong at 32.
The median income for first-time, female home buyers has also fluctuated over the years and is sitting around $55,000. According to an article in the New York Times in 2017, single male buyers median house price is $157,000 compared to female median house price of $146,300. So while male home buyers can afford more, due in part to the wage gap, female homebuyers are not deterred from buying homes.
The biggest take away from all of this information, it’s important to educate yourself about the home buying process. Talk to a lender about the programs available for first-time home buyers and see where you fit in the process based on your finances. Weigh the pros and cons of buying a home now or waiting until later. The worst thing you can do is not have all the facts.