Addicted to novelty since 2001

Single Women are Buying All the Houses

I’ve got several single, female friends in their late-20s and early-30s who have bought or are considering buying real estate (mostly apartments). In some cases they’re living in them, while others are renting them as investments. So, this article came as no surprise:

More single women than ever are purchasing real estate in North America, making them the largest purchasers of homes behind couples and edging out single males for second spot. Statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors in the U.S. show that during 2003, single women purchased approximately one in five homes compared to one in 10 for single men.

Have the prospects for men ever been better? Not only can you date, live with and marry a woman who has a lucrative full-time job, but she probably owns more real estate than you as well.

9 Responses to “Single Women are Buying All the Houses”

  1. Augie De Blieck Jr.

    You know, I hadn’t thought of it, but it’s true. I have three single female friends who, in the past year and a half, have purchased homes/townhouses/whatnot. It’s probably because women are better savers, while we men spend most of it.

    But I can’t help but get the feeling that the women just want to play “Trading Spaces” with a bigger canvas than a 1-bedroom apartment. ;-)

    -Augie

  2. Jason

    Can I be cynical? Men are spending their income trying to attract women, take them out on dates, buy them things, etc. (not that I advocate this approach) while women are thus granted the opportunity to save their own money and put it towards real estate.

    Either that, or these single women have given up on men and a possible family life completely and have decided to comfortably settle into spinsterhood.

  3. Darren

    Jason, you can be cynical, but not ridiculous. What do you suppose the US $20 billion cosmetics industry or the US $172 billion fashion market (in the US alone) is built upon? People want to look more attractive? Why? For many reasons, but the number one reason must be to attract members of the opposite sex.

    Clearly women are spending the vast majority of those dollars. Plus, I think you’ll find that men and women are ‘splitting the cheque’ (I use that as a synecdoche here–or is it metonymy? I can never remember) a lot more often than they used to.

  4. Richard

    Also, the word “single” gets confused with “not in a relationship”, where in the article’s case, it’s meant to include those women in committed–but unmarried–relationships (or even uncommitted relationships) and those who lead active social lives. Spinsterhood, in other words, is not how I’d describe the lives of the single women discussed in that article.

  5. Rog

    It’s a pretty simple conclusion really and I don’t find it unexpected or surprising in the least.

    If someone were to take a poll, I’m certain that a reasonable percentage of women would list their greatest fantasy as “owning my own home”. I can’t imagine very many men answering such a question that way.

    Why do you think The Sims is so popular with women? Building homes and human-like interaction. The up-the-ziggurat career thing can’t possibly be it.

    Of course, I also cringe a bit at the generalizations.

  6. Chris

    I agree with Rog; there’s nothing surprising in the article.

    According to StatsCan, there are more single women (and men) now, then there was before[1], and they’re obviously going to need someplace to live and that doesn’t necessarily mean with a significant other. In a similar article on the increasing amount of women purchasing real estate in Tennessee[2], women are apparently being given the message that renting directly equates to “throwing [your] money away,” a message also conveyed in Bellett’s article.

    Additionally, the culture has changed significantly. In the past, a woman would get married and let her husband handle most, if not all, of the finances; a woman buying a house on her own house would mean that she was one step away from turning into “the crazy lady with 50 cats”. Today, buying your own place means your one of those savvy, hip, Independent Woman(TM), in control of her destiny, just like the women on Sex and the City.

    PS: The author made a sweeping generalization of North American society based on an American statistic, but didn’t provide any Canadian statistics. What’s up with that?

    [1] http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/famil01.htm

    [2] http://tinyurl.com/2evzb [tennessean.com]

  7. Darren James Harkness

    It doesn’t surprise me. I found out in October that my partner had been squirrelling away money for the 5 years we’ve been together in order to buy a house; we bought our first place that month with her downpayment.

    I think it boils down to this gross overgeneralization: Women are better at saving money than men.

  8. Anonymous

    Given up on men? Sheesh, if only there were nice guys out there.

  9. Lee

    Well, women are definitely better savers than men. No contesting that. But I agree with Jason – men are more obliged to spend their income on women rather than vice versa. The US $172 billion stat is no doubt accounted for by the slim minority of Paris Hilton-types in America. Most women (including Paris), however, preach equality while also wanting the benefits of a traditional patriarchy. Who do you think accounts for majority of purchases in the $500 billion jewelry industry? It ain’t women, I can tell you that.

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