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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 7:25 pm | Fair 59º


Craig Greene: More Single Women Buying Homes

The numbers have been on the rise for years, and recent conditions have only fueled the trend

Single women account for the fastest-growing segment of the home-buying population in the United States.

The trend has been on the rise for many years. From 1994 to 2002, the number of unmarried women owning homes climbed from 13.9 million to 17.5 million. By 2004, 18 percent of all homebuyers were single women. According to the latest National Association of Realtors profile of homebuyers and sellers, that number has risen to 22 percent.

Factors leading to the increase include the following demographic trends: better education, more women working and seeking financial independence, and young women delaying marriage.

Also, women have significantly increased their purchasing power. They own and operate 38 percent of all businesses in America and make up nearly 40 percent of all business school graduates. More immediately, historically low interest rates, affordable home prices, ample housing supply and the first-time homebuyer tax credit are fueling the increase of single women homebuyers.

Statistically, women do more research and spend a longer period of time searching for a home. They’re also more inclined to make home repairs. Studies show that nearly half of all purchases made in Home Depot and Lowe’s are made by women. And 94 percent of women homeowners claimed to have completed a home improvement project by themselves in the past five years.

Some home characteristics that experts say appeal to women: a safe community (single women account for a large number of condominium purchases where they find a sense of security), a home office (home-based businesses are popular among women), maintenance-friendly yards, lots of storage and natural light, particularly in the master suite and bathroom. Statistically, women are also more likely to work with female mortgage brokers, attorneys and real estate professionals.

— Craig Greene is a senior loan officer at Prospect Mortgage, 3916 State St., Suite 100, Santa Barbara 93105. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.4211.

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