Real estate: It’s women’s turn

 In years past, married couples were the biggest group of home buyers, or about 61 percent of all homes. Nowadays, single women comprise 22 percent of home sales whereas single men accounted for 9 percent of sales.  According to the National Association of Realtors, this constitute a real change of events. Pat Vredevoogd Combs, NAR president said, “"Thirty-five years ago, when I started out as a realtor, a single woman couldn't even get a mortgage."

"Women are more confident and financially savvy than ever before," says Vredevoogd. "Plus, there are many good mortgage products out there that work well for them."

She said that women are afforded many nontraditional mortgage choices such as small cash down loans to acquire home ownership for a shorter term. Women have become financially independent as 57 percent of them are college graduates.

The New York Times saw the change as being caused by the growing number of women who remain single. According to the Census Bureau, 51 percent of all American adult women are living without a husband.

According to NAR, there is also an emergence of homeownership among African Americans. Vredevoogd said that during the past 10 years till 2005, it rose from 44 to 48 percent while among Hispanics, ownership increase from 43 percent to 49 percent. On the other hand, Asians registered from 51 percent to 60 percent.

Another rising group of homeowners are buyers from overseas. According to Janet Branton, vice president of business specialties of NAR, buyers from abroad accounted some $41 billion worth of residential real estate purchases in the U.S. in 2005.

Among the choices for vacation properties are Miami and Ft. Lauderdale in South Florida, Palm Springs, California, and in the Rockies and Sierras ski resorts.

Ma. Roma C. Agsalud

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