Single female buyers accounted for the second-largest segment of the homebuyers in the United States at 17% (right after married couples). Single women own 2.4 million more homes than their male peers and spent about 6% more on homes in the past 10 years.
Why the disparity?
The obvious question here is how do women, who still earn less than men on average, manage to own more property than single men? One fairly unexciting reason (at least from the perspective of women’s advancement) is that in divorces between men and women, the woman is more likely to get the family home over her ex-husband.
Divorce outcomes certainly play a part, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s driving the trend of single women homeownership. According to the latest job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women outnumber men in the workforce, holding 50.04 percent of jobs as of December.
What are the local statistics?
In the Pittsburgh metro area, the homeownership rate among single females is 52.7%, compared to 52% of single males. Though not as hugely different as many larger metro areas, it cannot be understated that the reason for housing disparities between the genders apply in our region as well.
The median age of a single female homeowner is older than their male counterpart, at 68 years old, compared to 59 years old. Overall, the median ages of homeowners tend to be higher than the national average (we possess one of the oldest populations in the country), and this disparity is, in part, affected by the local life expectancy, which tends to be longer for women.
Price-wise, the two demographics came close, single male homebuyers spent $127,001, while single female homebuyers spent $126,649.
What is the takeaway?
Though the growing trend of single female homeownership has not taken as drastic an effect on the Pittsburgh area as many more heavily populated cities around the country, it’s an important trend for real estate professionals to keep an eye on. With a booming real estate market, real estate investment, and more settling in our neighborhoods, we should ask ourselves, ‘what can we do to better serve this growing community of homeowners?’.