Single Women More Likely Than Single Men to Own a House

Albany Times Union

TROY, N.Y. – Three years ago, Cherie Clark bought a home overlooking Troy’s Washington Park. The building was a mess, she says, and the responsibility of owning alone can be daunting. But she doesn’t regret the decision. “I like the idea of owning this house and being able to do what I want.”

Many single women agree.

Uh huh…

So much so that they now account for 27 percent of the nation’s first-time home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors, and 21 percent of home buyers overall – more than double the rate of 20 years ago.

Single men, meanwhile, account for just 9 percent of home buyers, the same percentage as 20 years ago.

Buying a house in my book means paying cash, in total, for the full value of the house. Otherwise they mean mortgages.

Rising homeownership rates among single women reflect much- discussed societal changes: Americans are more likely to marry later and often divorce when they do. And women are earning more than ever before.

The Greater Capital Association of Realtors Inc., an Albany- based trade group that keeps data on home sales and prices, doesn’t track local home-buyer patterns. But its executive director, James Ader, points out that as recently as the 1970s single women had trouble obtaining a home loan.

“As that’s become more fair and equal, women have bought more,” he said.

A home loan. Long term debt. I’m not sure on the lengths of home loans in the States, but they frequently reach into the decades in the UK. Do these women realise they have to be working for a long time to pay that mortgage off, or are they expecting to meet a guy on a whim, ‘settle down’ and have him pay off the rest while she decides she wants to be a mum all of a sudden?

Men on average still earn more than women, but single women seem willing to buy with less, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2005, the median income of a single female home buyer was $48,100; for a single man, it was $66,100.

These stats can be interpreted in various ways, but it can definitely been stated that these single women are less appreciative of the concept of massive debt and the housing market, which isn’t doing too well I might add. Maybe these empowered women haven’t heard of negative equity, not that one would be expecting to read that in the latest issue of Glamour magazine…

So why are women more willing to buy than men?

Remember, a mortgage is buying debt, not a house. When you ink a mortgage contract, you are giving the bank a house and promising to give the bank the agreed value of the house plus (a lot of) interest over a long time in exchange of the property at the end of the repayments. Now for a bit of man-bashing.

As with many discussions of differences between the sexes, answers tend to sound like stereotypes: Men fear commitment. Women nest.

Yes, those men fear commitment to debt. Women don’t think, or they don’t care about paying debts (that’s what men are for).

He said it would be “astounding” if women didn’t buy homes at higher rates than men, because it’s basic biology.

“Guys are not nesters,” Francese said. “We have millions of years of evolution behind us, and we come from hunters and gatherers.”

Adam Traver didn’t mention hunting or gathering when explaining why he doesn’t own a home. But the 28-year-old Schenectady, N.Y., resident did call a house a big responsibility, a headache waiting to happen. “I just don’t want to be tied down,” Traver said. When Traver meets the right woman, they’ll buy a house, together.

He means tied down to a mortgage contract. Coming to think of it, mortgages are like marriages. You sign on the dotted line and all you do for the next 30 years is pay for it. If you don’t keep the bank satisfied it breaks the contract and repossesses your main assets, leaving your destitute. They usually come after you for the outstanding payments as well.

Sounds great, where do I sign up?

2 thoughts on “Single Women More Likely Than Single Men to Own a House

  1. For those of us who grew up in the Tri City Area (That’s Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and the surrounding smaller communities,) the snow isn’t that big a deal. Weather is weather. In California you have Earthquakes that can knock your house down, in the Midwest Tornadoes can knock your house down, the southeast has Hurricanes. We have snow… but it rarely knocks anyone’s house down.

    At the moment we are experiencing a buyers market in Upstate New York. There’s never been a better time to mortgage a house. Yes, that’s a debt, but it’s often the same amount or less than you’d pay in rent, and in the end you will own your house. In the event that ‘Mr. Right’ comes along, and doesn’t want to live in her house with her, well, people move out of homes they buy all the time. They sell them, and use the sale money to pay of the mortgage, so if Mr. Right has some aversion to the house, it can go.

    Oh… and I take exception to the idea that all women are looking for a man to look out for them. I’ll not say that there aren’t such women… and that they don’t all seem to have boyfriends, while the more responsible ones are considered plain and left home in their houses with their cats on Saturday night, I’m just saying that probably the women buying their own houses, instead of trying to move into their boyfriend’s on the second date, are responsible enough to pay off their own mortgage… of course if Mr. Right wants to live in the house too… there’s no reason he can’t pay his share.

  2. Personally, I can’t see why anyone would want to buy a house in the Troy, Schenectady, or Albany areas. I went away to college up there and the snow alone would make it difficult to keep up a home. Can’t see how they would increase in value all that much either. I happen to be one of those single women buying a home of my own (actually, a coop or condo, the maintenance would be taken care of for me). From the viewpoint of investing, the worst thing in the world that a single woman could do is “wait for Mr. Right” before buying a home. Besides, a very wealthy man advised me that not buying a home in this climate is the worst thing a person could do. So why wait if your purpose is to make money? I plan to buy an apartment in an up and coming area, live there for a few years, then sell the property at a higher price. I won’t have to worry about a 30 year mortgage since I will be making a profit. On the other hand, if a woman buys a home with the intent of living in it for the rest of her life, perhaps she should wait for Mr. Right. I’ve learned the hard way that if you want something, you can’t wait for someone or something else first. You will be waiting forever.

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