Working With Single Home Buyers


Single home buyers represent a sizeable portion of home buyers in the current residential real estate market, and are an audience worth knowing and understanding.


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.


Single Home Buyer Statistics

According to the 2017 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

  • First time buyers are more likely to be single females
  • Single female buyers made up 18% of 2016 first-time home buyers
  • Single male buyers made up 7% of 2016 first-time home buyers
  • Single home buyers comprised 25% of home purchases in 2016. Single female buyers averaged 52 in age (32 for first-time buyers and 58 for repeat buyers), and single male buyers averaged 51 in age (31 for first-time buyers and 56 for repeat buyers) (Ex. 1-17).

For more statistics on single home buyers, including reasons for purchasing a home, average income, desired type of home and neighborhood, see the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Single Buyer Demographics

Single Women Are Big Homebuyers in Chicago, (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 2016)

Single Women a Force in Nashville Real Estate Market, (The Tennessean, Aug. 4, 2014)

Single Women Outpace Unmarried Men in Homeownership! (MadameNoire, Dec. 4, 2013)

Single and First-time Buyers Stifled by Lending Standards, (Ocean City Today, Nov. 15, 2013)

NAR: Tight Credit Barring Singles, First-Times from Homeownership, (MoneyNews, Nov. 5, 2013)

Single Women Take Up Large Share of Home Buyers, Study Says, (Southern Daily Press, Sept. 4, 2013)

Profile Types of Home Buyers, (National Association of REALTORS® Research, Nov. 2013)

Single Women Buy More Homes than Single Men, (Originator Times, Aug. 20, 2013)

Five Reasons Single Women are Buying Homes at Twice the Rate of Single Men, (Dame Magazine, June 2013)

10 Best Cities for the Young, Broke and Single, (REALTOR® Magazine, June 2013)

Lending Standards, Rising Rents Box in Single Buyers, (UPI, Feb. 19, 2013)

NAR Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers Shows Dual Income Couples Fueling Market, (National Association of REALTORS® News Release, Nov. 10, 2012)

Profile of Single Male Home Buyers, (National Association of REALTORS® Economists' Outlook, Apr. 1, 2011)

Profile of Single Female Buyers, (National Association of REALTORS® Economists' Outlook, Mar. 28, 2011)

Single Home Buyer Tastes

Those grouped in the category of "single home buyers" exhibit a great diversity of tastes and requirements. Understanding some key home requirements for the varied needs within this group will assist you in matching your single home buyer clients with their ideal property.

The Real State of Real Estate, (Consumer Reports, Jan. 2016)

Home Owners More Attractive than Renters, Singles Say, (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 14, 2012)

7 Best Cities for Wealthy Singles, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 27, 2012)

Broke and Single: Why it Pays to Be Married*, (The Fiscal Times, Sept. 13, 2012)

*Editor’s Note: the title is slightly misleading: this article includes some great facts about singles and their buying behaviors.

Neighborhood Choice, (National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook, Dec. 4, 2012)

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Statistics State of the Nation’s Housing report, published in 2012, “Homeownership rates for non-family households, which include a substantial share of single persons, have also change relatively little [from the mid-2000s], (p. 18).” To view the full report, click here.

Marketing to Single Buyers

Marketing experts will tell you there are some rule-of-thumb Dos and Don'ts when marketing to singles. The articles below offer some ideas to help you walk the walk and talk the talk of single buyers.

For Some Young Singles, Mortgage Easier to Get than a Credit Card, (Herald Net, Sept. 14, 2014)

Some Singles See Value in Mortgage Payment, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aug. 31, 2014)

More American Singles Want to Buy Homes Now, Survey, (Realty Today, Aug. 22, 2014)

All the Single Buyers, (Sentinel, June 12, 2014)

REALTORS® Discuss the Importance of Commuting Costs, Traffic to Homebuyers, (National Association of REALTORS® Press Release, May 16, 2014)

Advice for Single Buyers

3 Tips for Single Female Home Buyers, (Time, Sept. 2015)

Being a Single Buyer, (The Chronicle Herald, Sept. 6, 2014)

Smart Moves: Tips for all the Single Buyers, (The Valley Breeze, July 15, 2014)

Single and Thinking of Buying a Home: Here’s Some Advice, (Money, June 24, 2014)

Single Women: Is Buying a Home Right for You?, (USA Today, Nov. 30, 2013)

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Kiplinger’s Money Smart Women (Audiobook)

Buying a Home When You're Single (eBook)

Financing Your Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse (eBook)

Home Buyer's Checklist: Everything You Need to Know—But Forget to Ask—Before You Buy a Home (eBook)

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