Your Mortgage: The future of home ownership is female

Charity Ohlund from Fountain Mortgage knows a thing or two about mortgages.

By Charity Ohlund

Single women now represent the second-largest homebuying group behind married couples. According to research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), despite having smaller bank accounts and smaller paychecks on average than single men, unmarried women are buying homes at more than double the rate of men.

Part of the reason females outpace others in the market is 1) their ability and willingness to find more affordable properties and 2) the cash they use for down payments is less tied to their saving accounts.

About 18 percent of all homebuyers in 2018 were single women. Married couples still dominate the residential market at 63 percent. However, of the three largest homebuying groups – married couples, women, and men – only single women grew their market share since 1981, up 7 points from just 11 percent 37 years ago. Meanwhile, married buyers fell from 73 percent in 1981 to 63 percent last year. And single men, who were 10 percent of buyers in 1981, were at 9 percent in 2018.

According to NAR, women are outpacing men across the board – in every age group for both first-time shoppers and repeat buyers. As I mentioned above, one reason for this is females are more willing to buy entry-level and starter homes. The median home price for single men in 2018 was $215,000, compared with $189,000 for single women.

Women are also less likely than men to tap into their savings to procure a down payment. Just over half of females (52 percent) used savings to cover the initial cost of ownership compared with 62 percent of men and 58 percent of married couples. Women are using equity from past homes and gifts/loans from relatives. The latter is more common among first-time buyers. The NAR research shows that single females tend to value homeownership not just as a financial investment but also as a place to call home and to make their own.

In the male dominated world of residential lending, I am incredibly proud to be in a position of leadership in our company. More than half of our employees are female (55 percent), and our top producing loan officer and our closing manager are women.

If you are a single woman thinking about purchasing a home, either for the first time or again, I would encourage you to reach out to our team. We bring a level of experience, relationship-building, communication, trust, and understanding that is uniquely suited to women. For a no-cost consultation about your readiness for a “mortgage without marriage” or simply to ask a few questions about your situation, give me a call. I’d love to visit with you.

This weekly Sponsored Column is written by Mike Miles of Fountain Mortgage. Located in Prairie Village, Fountain Mortgage is dedicated to educating, and thus empowering, clients to make the best financial decision possible for their situation. Contact Fountain Mortgage today.

Mike Miles NMLS ID: 265927; Fountain Mortgage NMLS: 1138268