Single women are diving into home market

Single women are diving into home market

Although traditionally considered less inclined to buy homes than other demographics, single women of all ages are continuing to knock down barriers by purchasing real estate and tackling home repairs in droves.

According to the new Royal LePage Female Buyers Report, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home. For divorced or separated women that proportion is 45 per cent, and for widowed women it's 64 per cent.

Poll results found that of the single, never-before married women who are not yet homeowners, 31 per cent say they will potentially purchase their next home within three years. More than half (56%) of women who intend to purchase in the next three years are shopping for a property in the $150,000 to $350,000 price range, while 10 per cent have slightly fatter pocket books and are looking for a property priced above $350,000.

Women today are earning higher salaries than ever before, and are much more financially independent than has been the case in the past. So it's not surprising that women are distancing themselves from traditional patterns, like looking for a man to buy a home with, and are not intimidated by the home buying process. Of the women polled who intend to purchase a home in the next three years, 56 per cent are willing to participate in bidding wars, in comparison to only 49 per cent of men.

What's more, the Royal Lepage survey found that, of women intending to buy in the next three years, 25 per cent said they are looking to purchase a ‘fixer-upper' and plan to renovate it themselves. Only nine per cent intend to hire a contractor. Research shows that women in Toronto, Halifax and Regina are the most likely to undertake renovations.

According to the survey, the biggest factor driving women to buy homes is that it makes more sense to them than renting. Of women who own a home, 36 per cent gave that as the reason they bought property. Other important factors include making a good investment, cited by 22 per cent of female homeowners surveyed, and pride of ownership, cited by 13 per cent. Simply put, women today are more financially astute than previous generations, and appreciate real estate as a long-term investment.

Women are eagerly learning all they can about real estate. When asked, "What methods will you use to educate yourself about home purchasing?" the top three responses were speaking with a real estate agent (83 per cent), speaking with friends and relatives (78 per cent) and using real estate and financial websites (64 per cent).

The Royal Lepage survey also found that 34 per cent of women would forego a wedding reception in order to put a larger down payment on a house, as would 27 per cent of men. Women and men are both moving away from tradition, as a 2004 survey found only 30 per cent of women and 15 per cent of men likely to forego a wedding reception in order to invest in a home. (CREA 17/04/07)

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