CENTURY 21 Real Estate has announced the results of its commissioned “Singles Homebuyer Survey.” Among the key findings was that for three-quarters (75%) of single homeowners aged 25-50, becoming a homeowner was at least fairly important with almost half (45%) of single homeowners saying it was “very important” for them to become a homeowner.
Single homeowners said the top three factors that best described their motivation for purchasing a home were: they viewed it as an investment in their financial future; got tired of paying rent; and it felt like the right time. In addition, nearly two-thirds of single homeowners (64%) say they overcame a roadblock in order to purchase their home.
“We are in the midst of a shift in the home-buying population,” said Rick Davidson, president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “This survey shows that homeownership is a major life decision for singles, and that it is just as important a part of the American Dream for singles as it is for married couples.”
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly one-third (32 percent) of all real estate purchases in 2013 were made by a single homebuyer—and one-person households were up from 17 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 2013. Not only are people getting married at an older age than previous generations, they are more apt to live by themselves, as shown by data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Real change, innovation and market growth stems from understanding consumers’ drive, motivation and sentiment, and how these can shift from person to person,” added Davidson. “Knowing this, CENTURY 21 affiliated sales professionals are able to build customizable action plans that better meet the needs of today’s buyers, sellers and investors.”
According to the CENTURY 21 survey, singles are finding ways to achieve homeownership, including making certain lifestyle sacrifices. Three in five (60%) of single homeowners say they would dine out less to purchase a home, while over half (would cut back on entertainment (54%) and spend less on vacations (51%). There are also gender differences, as single female homeowners are more likely than single male homeowners to say they would cut down on clothes (48 percent vs. 36 percent). Interestingly, one out of four (24%) single buyers indicated they wouldn’t make any lifestyle sacrifices to achieve homeownership, compared to one out of five married buyers (19%) who felt the same way.
Among the most important homebuying considerations for single homeowners were space and square footage (59%), the yard (57%) and proximity to work or school (47%).
Another theme that CENTURY 21 discovered in the survey is that many single homeowners found certain aspects of the homebuying process to be intimidating. Among the homebuying steps that singles say are very intimidating or extremely intimidating are: making an offer and negotiating a price (38%), obtaining a mortgage (36%), moving (31%), the closing (30%) and searching for and locating a home (25%).
Single homeowners aged 25-35 were also more likely than those aged 36-50 to say an important consideration when looking for a home was good cell service (28% vs. 11%) and proximity to public transportation (19% vs. 11%).
Not surprisingly, single homeowners aged 25-35 were more likely than those aged 36-50 to say they used an online real estate website on their phone (21% vs. 9%) or used an app on a mobile phone (14% vs. 5%).
“With Century21.com attracting more unique visitors than any other real estate franchise brand website, and cross-platform mobile apps, CENTURY 21 sales associates are positioned to meet the needs of these online and mobile consumers,” explained Davidson. “Simplicity and mobility are the keys, and we make the process of searching for a home clear, simple and convenient.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States between May 27 and June 13, 2014 among 1,462 homeowners aged 25-50, of whom 675 were single homeowners by Harris Interactive on behalf of Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
For more information, visit CENTURY 21 Real Estate.