By Aleksandra Oleksak, The Real Estate Chick
Decades ago banks would not lend to a single women, even a career women, she had to have a male cosigner or guarantor. Since then, times have changed for the better. With this inspired change it is not surprising that ¼ of Canadian buyers are single women, compared to 1/10 single men. More and more women are having long, successful careers and refusing to wait around for Mr. Right to jump into home ownership. But lets dig deeper to see why more and more women are buying and what they REALLY want!
Less then a decade ago, most women were getting married at a younger age and starting a family, which meant putting their careers on hold. Since then, we have seen a definite shift. Women are postponing marriage or choosing not to get married at all and who can blame them? With the divorce rate in Canada sitting at almost 50%, women want to be as sure as possible before jumping on the marriage band wagon. If that means placing their wedding plans on hold, it surely does not mean putting their home buying dreams on hold.
Interest Rates & Budgets
Interest rates are at an all time low and have been for quite some time. Women home buyers tend to be more budget conscious then their male counterpart, so it is not surprising they are taking advantage of the low cost of borrowing to realize their dreams of home ownership sooner. Women are cleaning up any debt issues and saving up down payments to be eligible candidates in the banks eyes. They are dead serious about what they want and are going out and getting it.
What Do Women Really Want
Safety in their new home is a number 1 priority for single women when purchasing. If they are buying a condo, having a 24-hour concierge makes them feel more secure as well as being on a higher floor. For women who want a home to call their own, it is not uncommon to see them buying with a friend and living together, not only for financial reasons, but for safety reasons as well. I know when I bought my first home, I didn’t want to be in a condo, so I approached my best friend who was in the same boat and somehow we made it work. Women are also looking for homes that are move in ready and aesthetically pleasing. Most women don’t even want to think about painting, they just want to enjoy their new home right away. This has also been a big influence in the condo world. Developers are catering to women when it comes to unit layouts, lobbies, bathroom storage and lighting.
It really is no surprise that a ¼ of Canadian buyers are single women. Times are changing and with it come different trends. The conventional buyer, a husband and wife, are not the only buyers in town anymore and these single women have a great deal of purchasing power. As a seller it is important to keep that in mind as you might be surprised who shows up to the negotiation table.
Aleksandra Oleksak is Her City Lifestyle’s “Real Estate Chick,” and a Toronto real estate professional with Sage Real Estate. As @RealtyQueenTO, her real estate blog has been named one of the top 50 real estate blogs in Canada.