Single women are a force to be reckoned with in residential real estate. Despite dealing with lower incomes than men, a pricey housing market and increasingly expensive mortgages, they comprise the second largest group of homebuyers — and have done every year since 1981, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As of 2023, single women made up 17 percent of all homebuyers. Single men, by contrast, accounted for just 9 percent. While they often have to sacrifice to make it happen, single women are a very determined, motivated group of buyers and they’re not letting daunting odds prevent them from achieving the American Dream of homeownership. For single women homebuyers, financial stability is an important part of the calculus, says Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “Women have a very strong preference for homeownership,” Lautz says. “They think it’s a good financial investment. They also are willing to make financial sacrifices. They traditionally have a lower household income, and they’re willing to cut expenses in other areas of their life to achieve homeownership.” In something of a paradox, single women make less money on average than single men but are more eager to buy homes, Lautz says. That could reflect the certainty and stability that go along with a monthly mortgage payment, as opposed to renting in an era when monthly rents have been rising sharply. “Knowing exactly what your payment is going to be for the next 30 years, especially if you’re a single mom, could be incredibly important for women,” Lautz says.