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Families aren’t the only ones benefitting from Raleigh’s hot real estate market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2015, women accounted for 15 percent of real estate purchases, compared to 11 percent in 1981. Their male counterparts were only 9 percent of the market share in 2015, down from 10 percent in 1981. So why are women outbuying men? According to the NAR survey, the top three driving factors for home buying is the need to nest, the need for more space, and relocation for family or career.
“We no longer want to wait to get married to do something that we used to think we would only do as a couple,” says Justine Wayne, who purchased her home in Chapel Hill two years ago through the Orange County Community Home Trust. “I was renting a small place after separating from my ex-husband. We had owned previously ,and paying the rent [now] felt like I was throwing money away.”
Nancy Johnson, a loan officer for Movement Mortgage, knows the benefits of single homeownership well. She has purchased 10 homes throughout her life, the three most recent as a single woman living in the Triangle. From her side of the mortgage desk, Johnson has noticed the trend increasing as women are buying on their own now more than ever.
“Many women are realizing they can do it on their own,” says Johnson, “I’m not seeing a lot of women right out of college buying homes but mid-20s to early 30s women, young professionals, are buying more than ever.” The largest group of women Johnson is working with is baby boomers: “Women in their 50s may be finding themselves single, and they’re more confident to get into that arena of being a homeowner,” she says.
With rates remaining low on mortgages, the incentive to buy has never been greater. “Personal advantages to home buying include tax write-offs, you don’t have to worry about someone raising the rent on you, and there’s more control of your life,” says Johnson. “If you’re going to be paying for someone’s mortgage, it might as well be yours.”
Builders have noticed the girl power trend, too. More interior designs and layouts are customized to what most women buyers are looking for: Chef’s kitchens with plenty of storage, green living, advanced security systems and low maintenance living are all hot selling features geared to entice female buyers.
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