Are independent women becoming the stronger force in the home buying market? According to new data, significantly more single women are buying homes than almost every other segment of the buyer market. This information comes from recent data from the National Association of Realtors®.

Single women were the second-largest segment of the buyer market at 18 percent, behind married couples, who make up 65 percent of the market, according to the 2017 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The percentage of single women, the highest since 2011, is partially attributable to a more favorable job market and higher income prospects, according to the survey.

In addition to single females driving the home buying market, The NAR survey also found that real estate agents are in no danger of becoming obsolete. In fact, the survey found that 92 percent of all purchases and sales involved real estate agents, leaving just 8 percent of the transactions that involved for-sale-by-owner, an all-time low.

The average age of first-time buyers stayed the same, at 32 years, while that of repeat buyers increased slightly from the previous year to 54 from 52 years of age.

First-timers’ income was slightly higher at $75,000 compared to $72,000 last year, while the older repeat buyers reported household income roughly the same: $97,500 compared with $98,000 from the previous year.

Repeat buyers chose houses of the same size from last year, 2,000 square feet, but they paid more for them: $266,500 compared with last year’s average of $250,000.

Most buyers continue to prefer the suburbs with 85 percent making a purchase in the outlying areas, compared with just 13 percent remaining in cities. Single-family detached homes retain their preferential position in the inventory, accounting for 87 percent of the sales for the third straight year.

Inventory shortage continues to play a significant part in rising prices. Forty-two percent of the buyers paid asking price or higher for their homes compared to 40 percent last year. However, in the western states, 51 percent of buyers paid the list price or higher.

Public perception of the market likely plays a part in these numbers. Although lending standards have remained essentially the same for several years, prospective buyers seem to be more confident in their ability to qualify for a mortgage. The minimum credit standards for conventional loans remains at 620, and 580 for FHA loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the investors who buy most mortgages in the U.S., have loosened their qualifying standards slightly, allowing higher debt-to-income ratios than before, allowing more buyers to qualify.

If you are considering buying a home in the near future and would like to explore mortgage options in Texas, please connect with our team today. Give us a call at (972) 591-3097 or contact us online.