Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Single Women Buy Homes at More than Twice the Rate of Single Men

A recent issue of the NYTimes claims that single women are buying homes at more than twice the rate of single men - 21% of homebuyers are single women, vs. 9% for single men.

I have several thoughts on this statistic:

1. The nesting urge - the desire to have ones own home - is probably more of a female than a male urge. Men seem to acquire this urge when they get married, and it may derive from the wife more than the husband.
2. Traditionally, women waited to get married before buying a house. Today, as many are getting married later or not at all, they're taking care of their own needs by buying. Men feel less of a need. Again, pointing to an innate female urge to nest that is less pronounced in men.
3. Men tend to dislike the idea of being tied down, and perhaps buying a home (house or apartment) triggers that fear in them. As in: If they wanted to get tied down, they'd get married...
4. 1. It fits with a previous post of mine saying that single (never married) men tend to be financial underachievers, while single (never married) women tend to be financial overachievers. Ditto for the reference to the International Herald Tribune article claming that single women earn more than single men

Of course, home buying has been an extremely good investment in the U.S. lately, which makes the discrepancy even more surprising. I'd attribute it to the male ambivalence about getting tied down, or conversely, their need to be free, or as the NYTimes says, their fear of commitment.


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