Information from Hale Walker, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President - Michigan Mutual, Inc. Website: mimutual.com
According to the National Association of Realtors, single women are purchasing homes at nearly twice the rate of single men-last year, 18% of homeowners were single women, versus 10% single men.
There's been a cultural shift in the last couple of decades with gender in the workplace-we're seeing more women in workplace leadership roles, which leads to greater financial earning power. This translates to greater ability to purchase a home-single women have the credit and the finances on their own to make this purchase.
Another group of single women taking the housing reins, in addition to young and emerging professionals, are the single moms-Pew Research Center just released a study that found that in 40% of households, women are the breadwinners. And two thirds of that percentage is made up of single moms.
Homes are attractive, valuable assets-investing in a home is a great way to build equity and long-term financial well-being.
Michigan Mutual's numbers match the national trends-17% of our homebuyers for 2012 and year to date 2013 are single women.
Overall, single women are more willing to embrace the process of mortgage education. They are very engaged throughout the entire process, they want to know what's happening and what it all means.
In general too, we're seeing a lot of single women with smart credit management habits.
The great news is that even those that don't have great credit are still able to qualify for mortgage loans due to some great programs and federal aid, and many are able to with the help of mortgage professionals who help them put together a plan to qualify for their desired loans.
What types of mortgage loans are most beneficial for single women?
FHA loan: The FHA mortgage loan is a great option for single women, especially those who are first-time homebuyers.
They typically have lower interest rates and lower closing costs than other types of mortgages.
The FHA 203k loan is another great option under this umbrella-it lends money to the homebuyer to purchase the home, maybe one that had been foreclosed on and needs some rehabbing, and to make necessary improvement to make it mortgage-able.
What factors do people need to consider when evaluating mortgage loan options?
Determine the time you will be in the home-is this a long-term buy? Will your family or career situation change? That is critical when determining the right loan.
Look at your credit-Fix any credit issues. You can work with your trusted mortgage professional to create a plan that will get you on track to qualify for the right loan, even if you aren't quite there yet.
Shop for customer service-Everyone purchasing or refinancing a home should seek the guidance of a trusted mortgage professional.
How is this growing trend impacting available inventory, and the housing market overall?
It's contributing to the housing market rebound we're seeing right now.
It's brought great things for the industry as a whole-More people are buying homes, housing prices are starting to rise again, inventory rates are decreasing.
This trend has actually contributed to a lot of new home construction nationally, which we haven't seen in a while.
What do emerging trends like this say about the future of the industry?
The future is bright. With women making up a little more than half of the U.S. population and with these cultural trends in regards to their strong earning and buying power emerging, and in addition to the economy and housing market continuing to improve, the overall industry outlook is very positive.
I think we'll continue to see a significant amount of single female homebuyers moving forward.