A housing industry report published this year shed some light on a variety of home buying trends in Washington State and elsewhere across the country. Among other things, it showed that the percentage of single female home buyers has increased over the years.
Interesting Statistics from Buyer Survey
In July 2017, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducted a nationwide survey to gather information on home buying trends. They sent the 131-question survey to 145,800 and used the results to create their “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report” for 2018.
One of the key findings provided insight into marital status of home buyers, and who’s doing most of the buying. Married couples still account for most of the home buying activity in Washington and elsewhere in the nation. But among singles, females buyers bought more homes than males.
Here’s a related quote from the report for the NAR survey:
“Sixty-five percent of recent buyers were married couples, 18 percent were single females, seven percent were single males, and eight percent were unmarried couples.”
On the selling side, married couples also led the way followed by single-female sellers. In terms of sales, single females accounted for more than twice as many transactions as their male counterparts. The gap was widest in the 53-to-62 age range, in which 20% of sellers were single females compared to 5% in the male category.
Home Buying Advice for ‘Singles’ in Washington
Whether male or female, single home buyers can sometimes run into additional obstacles when purchasing a property in Washington.
On average, married couples tend to have more income to work with, when compared to single buyers. That’s because in many cases there are two incomes instead of one, and possibly more savings in the bank as well. (This is a generalization, of course. There are plenty of exceptions as well.) So in some cases, it can be easier for couples to accumulate the money needed for a home purchase.
But the NAR survey clearly shows that single female and male home buyers can still succeed in today’s real estate market. They just need to have their financial ducks in a row.
Along those lines, here are three quick tips for single buyers in Washington:
- Put money away, starting now. The typical home buyer will have to pay closing costs when purchasing a property. While the exact amount can vary, it usually ranges from around 3% to 5% of the purchase price. The down payment on a house can be that much or even more. The point is, it’s never too early to start putting money aside for a home purchase. The sooner the better.
- Get a mortgage pre-approval. Getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender can also help single home buyers in Washington. For one thing, it allows you to narrow down your housing search to a specific price range, which could save you time and energy. A pre-approval letter could also increase the chance that the seller accepts your offer. If you have questions about the pre-approval process in Washington, just let us know.
- Reduce your down-payment burden. There’s a common misconception out there that says all home buyers have to put down 20%. But it’s not accurate. These days, some loan programs allow borrowers to make a down payment in the 3% range — or even 0%, if you happen to be in the military. Additionally, home buyers are often able to use gift money from a third party (like a family member) to cover the down payment. Such programs are well suited for single home buyers in Washington who have limited funds in the bank.
Have questions? Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions. Last Updated: