This rise of single-women homeowners is part of a greater social and economic shift that is reshaping Canadian life. Women are tired of waiting for Mr. Right to come along and start the Canadian dream. For the first time in history, women have access to the same resources men have always had. Women today make more money, assume leadership roles in business, are financially independent, and control their own financial decisions far more than in decades past. Women can acquire homes on their own rather than searching for a mate to provide them. It’s symbolic of success — of getting out there and doing it on their own. Single women snapped up one of every five homes sold, more than twice as many as single men bought
Women are motivated to purchase homes by a desire for financial security and the sound investment of home ownership, as real estate has steadily appreciated in recent years. Women live longer, think about financial security in their retirement, and recognize the benefits that home ownership provides more so than ever before. Building equity and taking advantage of tax deductions appeals to women, as to most buyers. Low interest, and first-time buyer programs, high divorce rates and the fact that child support payments are considered income to single parents, have helped contribute to the trend. Also on the rise is the number of single women buying older homes, renovating them, and selling for a profit.
Why are so many single women buying homes? The top reasons are:
- a.not having to rely on a man to shelter them
b. security, financial and safety reasons
c. a sense of independence and self worth
d. as an investment
Not important was a home to raise children. This may be somewhat indicative of the fact that most of the single women buying homes are professional women with stable jobs and upwardly mobile careers.
Single women are now play a significant role in the housing market. They feel there is no stigma to buying alone and are more confident than their counterparts a decade ago:
- Currently, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, while 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women are homeowners.
- Another category of single women is the growing number of single mothers. Single mothers make up almost 30% of all unmarried women buyers.
- 25% of women searching for a home are looking for a ‘fixer-upper’ and plan to do the work themselves.
- And more single minority women are buying homes than married minorities.
Some of the most critical demographic changes that have opened up the real estate market to women include:
- Women (and men) are marrying later. On average, women now wait until they’re nearly 26 to walk down the aisle, about six years later than in 1960, according to Census data. On average, men today marry at age 27, an increase of five years in that same period.
- Divorce. A Census study showed that 73% of women who married between 1980 and 1984 reached their 10th anniversary, compared with 90% of women who married between 1945 and 1949. Still, as many as half of new marriages end in divorce.
- Women tend to live longer than men. The average man will die at 74, giving the average widow (who’ll die at 79) five more years to buy a home on her own.
Houses are a great source of wealth, and as women are buying and holding onto them, they will gain greater equity and become less dependent on male partners for material assets and protection.
Diane Plant, Broker
Forest Hill Real Estate Inc.