This year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 is especially significant in that 100 years have passed since Aug. 26, 1920, the date the 19th Amendment was certified and gave women the right to vote.

One hundred years later, it’s exciting to consider that single women buyers are the largest growing segment of the home buying market behind married couples.

Prior to 1974, when the Equal Opportunity to Credit Act passed, single, widowed or divorced women needed a man to cosign a mortgage application, no matter how much income they earned. Now, single women are outpacing single men in home ownership with single women owning 22 percent of homes on average, while single men own less than 13 percent.

Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer’s Insights Report highlighted women buyers “skipping the spouse and buying the house.”

The report illustrated women prioritize buying a house over single men; percentages were higher across all categories when ranking how thinking of owning a home made them feel: responsible, independent, ‘like an adult,’ and empowered.

Home ownership creates stability, and is a way to build wealth, so it’s not a surprise that ownership feels empowering.

Many women believe they do not need to “put a ring on it” before buying. They are staying single longer, focusing on building careers. If they decide to purchase with a partner in the future, they have options such as selling their property to contribute toward a down payment or keeping the property for rental income.

Also, a single female homebuyer “may be coming from a past relationship and purchasing a new home for herself, her children and her parents,” points out Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for the National Association of Realtors.

Buying a home — whether a couple or single — female or male, can be a daunting task, but your Realtor can help you build a team of professionals to guide and assist you through the process. It truly is a journey worth taking. Call your Realtor today to get started, or contact the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors at

— Staci Caplan is the president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at