All the Single Ladies: A Big Market for NJ Housing Industry
As she said herself, Kristeen Kohrs "works pretty well" on her own.
So for half her life now, as a single woman, Kohrs has owned a home in the Garden State that she purchased herself.
"I have a bachelor's and master's in computer science, so I was pretty well paid out of college, and I lived at home for the first few years which let me save for my down payment," Kohrs said.
At age 27, she made her first down payment on a home in Bridgewater. Ten years later, she sold and bought at the right time, and has been living in "Arrowhead Manor" (her nickname for her home) in Branchburg ever since.
Kohrs' specific journey through homeownership may be unique, but achieving such a major purchase is quite common among her demographic.
In fact, while married or soon-to-be-married couples are the bread and butter for real estate agents, single women are next in line.
In 2018 throughout the Garden State, for every 10 homes purchased by single males, 12 were taken off the market by single females, according to New Jersey Realtors statistics.
In 2017, single females made up 20 percent of the first-time homebuyers in New Jersey, compared to single males' 8 percent. Among repeat homebuyers, 26 percent were single women, compared to 10 percent single men.
"I don't think homeownership is as important to single men as it is to single women," said Randi Dickman, a broker associate with eXp Realty.
Handling properties in Monmouth and Ocean counties, Dickman said she sells more homes to single ladies than she does to single men.
"I just think that women want more stability than single men," she said.
And the needle could move even further in their direction moving forward. While still well behind, women's salaries are slowly catching up with the salaries of their male counterparts, Dickman said.
Nationally, the share of single female buyers jumped from 15 percent in 2015 to 18 percent in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors. In both years, single males made up 9 percent of the buyer pool.