Single Women: The Substantial (and Overlooked) Home-buying Demographic

Education & Training with Adhi Schools, LLC

Your intuition can probably tell you that married couples are the largest home-buying demographic. It makes sense: between family and financial goals and the purchasing power of two people, married couples have both the incentive and the means to purchase homes. But married couples are not the only buyers. Single women make up the second largest buying demographic, ahead of single men and unmarried couples.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, 15% of recent buyers were single women. This number may not appear to be that large to some readers, but considering 67% of buyers were married couples and the next largest buyer demographic—single males—only accounted for 9% of buyers, it is quite evident that single women are a substantial buying force.  

The highest percentage of single female buyers falls in the 51-60 year-old age range, where they actually make up 20% of buyers. 19% of buyers aged 61 to 69 are single females. Thus, this single female buyer demographic is on average a bit older than the typical buyer. This is not to suggest, however, that younger single women are not also buying homes—they make up 13% of buyers in both the under-35 and 36-50 age groups.

There are a few other statistics to keep in mind to contextualize what we know now:

·       First time home buyers made up 32% of buyers

·       The typical buyer was 44 years old—younger than the average single female buyer

·       77% of sellers were married couples—singles and unmarried couples thus account for the other 23% of sellers

So, what’s the takeaway for real estate professionals? How does this impact your business? It is important to keep an open mind and forego any conventional wisdom that leads you to limit your network. Married couples might make up the majority of active buyers, but there are other demographics—most notably single women—that are active buyers and sellers. Think about ways to expand your network to better utilize this knowledge.

Any comments or questions? Let me know below!

Posted by

Cody Carmen


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Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting information, yet, marketing to unmarried women has many challenges but none that can't be resolved with a process to qualify and eventually close. With home appreciation above 4%, with some areas at 7% and specific tax benefits that increase income, it is not only prudent but an excellent strategy toward building future wealth. Great post.

Feb 13, 2017 09:27 PM #16
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Cody Carmen - interesting stats for sure. Especially the age group you mentioned for single women (in 50-60!)

Feb 13, 2017 10:38 PM #17
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Cody Carmen I really enjoyed this post.  Very interesting and to be honest, I did not know this.  So now that I do, I am rethinking some marketing I was thinking of doing. THANKS! 

Feb 13, 2017 10:47 PM #18
Randy Elliott
RE/MAX Gold - Lodi, CA
REALTOR : Lodi / Stockton, CA

Some of my favorite and easist clients to work with have been single women. They knew what they wanted, were well prepared, and made the whole process go smoothly. 

Feb 14, 2017 01:10 AM #19
Bruce Minter
James & Lee Realty - Virginia Beach, VA
One on one - Every step of the way!

I am an SRES and geofarm my 55 and better condo community. You are right on as to the demographics. I see many single women buyers coming into our community. I guess it's a function of men passing before women or divorce. My last three listings have gone to single women and of course many of my listings are single women as they transition from independent living to moving in with family or assisted living due to declining health.

Feb 14, 2017 02:56 AM #20
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Cody Carmen Not overlooked by us. Here in Sarasota, I deal with many single women. I won't mention their age however. In San Diego, absolutely.

Feb 14, 2017 03:57 AM #21
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I have had single female buyers, so totally concur that this is an active segment.

Feb 14, 2017 04:05 AM #22
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I am working with a single mom now. We are scheduled to close by the first of the month.  It is not uncommon here for the ladies to buy  as the need security for the children and are tired of paying rent.

Feb 14, 2017 05:44 AM #23
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Very true. My wife sells 55+ and I was surprised the number of single ladies that are buying for many different reasons.

Feb 14, 2017 08:01 AM #24
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

A very informative post, thanks for your time

Feb 14, 2017 08:22 AM #25
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

There's a lot of truth in these stats when I think about my own business. i see many women who are boomer age, divorced, and ready to take care of themselves first !!  They get the house or condo that fits their current lifestyle.

Feb 14, 2017 01:08 PM #26
Cheryl Dukes . . . . . Intown Atlanta
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

Single women do make money and they do spend it. Thanks, Cody Carmen, for recognizing their buying power. You've used statistics to provide another informative piece.

Feb 14, 2017 03:57 PM #27
Mike Bjork
Pinnacle Home Loan - Redondo Beach, CA

Hi Cody,

Do you know if that segment (50+ single women), if they're First Time Home Buyers or are recently divorced/widowed?  I heard the Single Woman was a neglected segment, but didn't realize the breakdown; and the women in the 50+ were the larger group.  I was initially thinking the young First Time Home Buyer.  Thanks, it's an interesting demographic that you've covered here.

Feb 14, 2017 04:00 PM #28
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Nice to see this report.  Was unaware of the percentages and this will be welcome news to single women who have been reluctant to purchase.

Feb 15, 2017 07:02 AM #29
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The womans part in anything can never be under-estimated.....richfuscious

Feb 15, 2017 08:18 AM #30
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Yes single women rock!  And they can make their own decisions and everything!

Feb 15, 2017 07:54 PM #31
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I was just thinking of posting those graphics today as a matter of fact.

Feb 17, 2017 11:34 AM #32
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This explains why I've worked with so many single women.  I've helped many young women in their twenties purchase their first homes.  Often they are buying a home from a seller who is also single woman.

Feb 17, 2017 08:29 PM #33
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Power in the numbers Cody Carmen and all the segments in the real estate audience need attention because they add up collectively. Don't make your marketing just blah and one size fits all. See the singles in the audience and craft the blogs, structure the videos, imagery to pull at their heart strings and meet their special needs.

Apr 04, 2017 03:11 AM #34
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

My personal experience as an LO certainly backs these stats up, Cody Carmen ... as I have a good number of single-female buyers in my database ... far more than single men.  As a side note, I typically find these buyers far more engaged in their process from every aspect ...   


Apr 12, 2017 08:33 AM #35
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