Single Women Buyers Outnumber Single Men

woman carrying a packing box into her new home

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Women are second only to married couples as a homebuying presence in the real estate market, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Currently, 19% of the homebuying market are single women, while 9% are single men and 60% are married couples, according to NAR.

Single women and single men show a high desire to own a home of their own, but single women outnumber men by about a 2-1 ratio. While a roughly equivalent percentage of men and women purchase because of the desire to own a home, the number of women who purchase a home to be near their friends and family is double that of men, NAR says.

Single women buyers also are more likely to purchase a home if they have a child under the age of 18, and they’re more likely to purchase a multigenerational home to accommodate adult siblings, adult children, and grandparents.

“These family obligations may make purchasing a home more attractive to a single woman buyer as she has the need for stable housing on a continual basis,” Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, writes at the association’s blog.

Seventeen percent of single women buyers say they have kids under the age of 18 who live with them, and 13% say they live in a multigenerational home, according to NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

A bar chart comparing the purchase price of homes bought by single men vs bought buy single women

As the number of single women buyers rises, the share of married couples in the real estate market has been dropping. Lautz cites data that shows in 1990, 59% of Americans were married; that percentage has dropped to 52% more recently.

A line graph showing the household composition of home buyers over time