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A recent housing industry report revealed some interesting trends about single female and male home buyers in New Jersey and nationwide. The number of single females buying homes has risen over the years and now exceeds the purchases made by single males.

Married couples still account for the majority of home buying activity in New Jersey and elsewhere across the country.

Survey Statistics for Single Female Home Buyers

Earlier this year, the research department from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) published its “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report” for 2018. This detailed report was the result of a 131-question survey mailed out to 145,800 people who had recently purchased a home.

Among other things, the NAR survey showed that:

“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.”

Beatrice de Jong, the Director of Residential Sales at Open Listings, offered some background on these trends for an August 2018 article she wrote for Forbes. She attributed the rise of the single female home buyer to a change in outlook as well as financial circumstances:

“Single women are opting for mortgages before marriages. Modern women accept they have more to offer beyond their traditional domestic roles, and not everyone is ready to be a wife or a mother yet … Despite the wage gap, women are earning higher salaries than ever before…”

When it comes to home sellers, married couples again accounted for the majority of real estate transactions,  and single females accounted for more than twice as many home sales as single males. The gap was widest in the 53 to 62 age bracket, in which 20% of sellers were single females compared to 5% in the single male category.

Home Buying Tips for Those Flying Solo

Regardless of gender, single home buyers often encounter some additional hurdles when purchasing a home in New Jersey. On average, married couples tend to have a lot more income to work with, when compared to the typical single home buyer. So, it’s easier for couples to come up with the funds needed for the down payment and other expenses.

But, as this survey shows, single male and female buyers can still thrive in today’s home-buying market. Here are three helpful tips for single home buyers in New Jersey:

1. Start saving now: Most buyers encounter a variety of closing costs, and these can add up to thousands of dollars. Also, depending on what kind of mortgage loan you use, you’ll probably have to make a down payment of some kind as well (VA loans aside). It’s never too early to start saving up for a home purchase. In fact, the sooner the better. Starting early ensures that you’ll have the funds needed to complete your purchase.

2. Get pre-approved by a lender: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan will help you narrow down your home search to the kinds of properties you can afford, based on your financing. This can result in a more efficient house-hunting experience. Having a pre-approval letter from a lender could also make sellers more likely to accept your offer, regardless of your “single buyer” status. Please contact us if you have questions about getting pre-approved in New Jersey.

3. Explore down-payment options: There’s a widespread misconception among home buyers that a 20% down payment is always needed, but that’s not the case. There are many financing options available today, and some offer down payments as low as 3% of the purchase price. Such programs can be a good option for single home buyers with limited funds.