Single-women homebuyers at all-time high

WASHINGTON — The share of homebuyers in the U.S. who are single women has been steadily increasing over the last several decades and is now at an all-time high.

“In the early 1980s, it was about 9 percent,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Veritas Urbis Economics. “It’s about 19 percent now, so almost one-fifth of all homebuyers in the U.S. are single women, and that’s a significant jump.”

There are obvious factors contributing to the increase in single-women homeowners, including an increase women in the full-time workforce and incomes but women are also just staying single longer.

“Men and women, especially those that are under 35, are waiting longer to do adultlike things such as getting married and having children, but that hasn’t stopped them from buying homes,” McLaughlin said.

Despite that, the share of homebuyers in general who are less than 35-years-old is at an all-time low, falling from 52 percent in 1981 to 33.7 percent in 2017.

But the share of homebuyers made up of single-person households, men and women, has increased from 15.3 percent in 1981 to 21.2 percent in 2017.

The aging of America has also skewed homeownership demographics.

The share of U.S. homebuyers comprised of households more than 55-years-old has increased from 16.1 percent in 1981 to 27.8 percent today.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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